The Importance of a Healthy Smile Prior to Joint Replacement Surgery
Posted on 9/20/2019 by Louis McDonald, D.D.S.
If you have a need for joint replacement surgery, your mind will worry about many different things. You will understand the need to get medical clearance before the surgery, but you may not realize you also need to get dental clearance before undergoing joint replacement surgery.
You may not see the connection between your teeth and the need to replace a hip or knee, but there are good reasons to make sure you have healthy teeth and gums before you undergo the surgery.
How Oral Health Affects the Body
For some, finding the connection between oral health and the joints in the body is not easy to see. They think that if they have a problem with their teeth and gums the problems stays there. What they do not realize is the reason that people struggle with the health of their teeth and gums.
The mouth is full of bacteria. When we brush and floss, we remove the bacteria present, but do not stop more bacteria from growing. If the bacteria are allowed to grow unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. When those issues arise, the bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream. Once they are in the blood stream, they can spread to all the parts of the body.
Bacteria in the Joints
One of the places that bacteria likes to settle in is the joints. If the bacteria from the mouth get into the bloodstream, it is very possible it will settle in the joints. If the immune system cannot deal with the bacteria in the joint, an infection can occur. Anyone that has an infection in the joint will have to wait to get joint replacement surgery until they can clear up the infection. It is because of the possibility of infection that you maintain good oral health before undergoing joint replacement surgery.