Pre-Existing Health Conditions and Oral Surgery. What You Should Know.

February 24, 2023

graphic with stethoscope and heartPre-existing health conditions can alter your oral health and affect your chances of undergoing oral surgery and its outcomes. Overall and oral health are intimately related to one another. Therefore, your oral surgeon in Phoenix, AZ, takes a detailed present and past medical history before proceeding with any oral surgery procedure. So, please ensure you give an accurate account and disclose any medical condition and medicines you are taking. If you are wondering about the implications of these pre-existing health conditions on overall health, then keep reading ahead. This blog will shed light on the most common health conditions and how they affect oral health and surgery. 

  1. Diabetes mellitus 

Individuals with diabetes are more prone to gum diseases which can cause early tooth loss. Gum diseases also have an adverse effect on the glucose levels of a person with diabetes. Their inability to regulate glucose creates a bacteria-friendly environment which further contributes to gum disease and dental caries, which form a vicious cycle. 

In addition, patients with uncontrolled diabetes also have delayed healing. This causes even a small extraction wound to heal late. Therefore, oral surgery in such a situation can pose a risk, as surgical wounds take time to heal. In such cases, proper glucose level control becomes imperative before oral surgery. 

  1. Blood disorders 

Blood disorders such as anemia lead to a low hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin is a pigment in your red blood cells, enabling oxygen transportation throughout the body. Individuals with anemia may not be able to undergo elective oral surgery. This is because there is some blood loss during any surgery, which can further lead to a decrease in hemoglobin levels and impair the body's ability to heal adequately. 

Other blood disorders, such as hemophilia and thrombocytopenia, interfere with the body's ability to clot properly. This means any wound will bleed more and will take a long time to stop. Such patients are often given coagulation factors before scheduling an oral surgery procedure. All these factors must be considered before a person is scheduled for oral surgery in Phoenix, AZ

  1. Hypertension 

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the flowing blood against the arteries. In hypertension or high blood pressure, this pressure increases, leading to increased bleeding during surgery. Therefore, your oral surgeon will constantly measure your blood pressure before and during surgery. If your blood pressure is high, you may be referred to a physician for proper check-ups and management. 

Adrenaline is added to local anesthetics to prolong the duration of anesthesia. In patients with hypertension, adrenaline is contraindicated as it can raise blood pressure if injected into the blood vessels. Therefore, it is essential to give your oral surgeon a complete history so they can make adjustments according to your systemic conditions. 

  1. Heart diseases

After an episode of myocardial infarction, any oral surgery procedure should be avoided for six months. It ensures the heart heals before it is subjected to any more stress. Patients with heart conditions may also require hospitalization and proper anesthetic management. 

Patients with bacterial endocarditis, which is a bacterial infection of the heart valves, will also require special care. These patients can undergo oral surgery with proper antibiotic coverage. This way, the heart is protected against any bacterial invasion. 

  1. Thyroid disorders

Patients with hyperthyroidism have increased thyroid hormone levels, which may complicate oral surgery. These patients may experience increased heart rate and anxiety and may end up in a thyroid storm if given adrenaline. Therefore, a proper evaluation and medical clearance become necessary. Patients with uncontrolled thyroid disorders may not be able to tolerate the stress of oral surgery and can have an episode of shock. Proper measures must be taken in such situations to ensure such complications do not occur and can be avoided. 

  1. Cancer 

If you have a non-healing ulcer around a tooth, it may be cancerous. If such a tooth is extracted without a proper diagnosis, it may facilitate the cancer cells to encroach upon the non-cancerous areas. 

Cancer patients on radiation therapy have depressed immunity which may lead to delayed healing after tooth extractions and other complications such as osteoradionecrosis. 

Cancers of the oral cavity may even metastasize to the breast or lungs; therefore, detailed investigations become mandatory. 

  1. Kidney disorders

Impaired kidney function implies several body dysfunctions, such as prolonged bleeding, high blood pressure, susceptibility to infections, and more. These pose a serious threat and can contribute to serious complications in cases of oral surgery in these patients. Patients with kidney disorders are prone to oral ulcers and fungal infections of the oral cavity. Kidney disorders also interfere with how a person tolerates medications. Many antibiotics and painkillers cannot be given to a person with impaired kidney function. Therefore, alternative and kidney protective medications have to be given to reduce the chances of any complications. 

  1. Neurologic disorders

Individuals diagnosed with epilepsy with a recent history of seizures must be carefully evaluated before they are scheduled for surgery. The stress of oral surgery may cause them to have a seizure while a procedure is carried out. This poses a significant risk as oral surgery requires delicate instruments and techniques. Patients may aspirate or get hurt by the devices that are being used during surgery. Therefore, patients need to be medically cleared before they can be taken for surgery. Sedation may be recommended in such cases. Consequently, it is recommended that you always disclose your history of seizures to your oral surgeon in Phoenix, AZ. 

We hope this blog sheds some light on the importance of pre-existing conditions of oral health and how it influences oral surgery. Therefore, it is of prime importance that you tell your oral surgeon at Phoenix Oral and Facial Surgery about any health condition and medications you take. This will allow us to treat you better and ensure you get the best possible treatment outcomes. If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment with us at Phoenix Oral and Facial Surgery, Phoenix, AZ, please reach out to us. Our team of excellent surgical professionals is here to assist you in brilliant oral and overall health. 

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