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British Heart Foundation
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My Teeth

Yesterday I finally had my first consultation with the surgeon who will be doing my bypass. One thing he stressed was the importance of good oral hygiene (both teeth and gums). A friend's wife had her heart op postponed when at the pre-op she was told to have three teeth extracted first. Looking on line I cannot get a proper handle on this. I have a few gaps plus quite a few crowns. How do I decide what teeth might need extraction as if I go with some of the stuff I have seen on the web I need the majority pulled. Wonder if there is a "gappy" smiley?

5 Replies

Hi I had valve replacement surgery in August 2016, I was told I needed to get my dentist to sign a form to bring to pre assessment saying teeth in good enough condition for surgery. So my advice is see the dentist and ask if he feels teeth and gums are ok for surgery. Since surgery as well as seeing a dentist every 6 month I also see a hygenist as well as they do a deeper clean


I was asked the same questions pre op. As far as I was able to tell, there are two concerns

1) Infection control. There is a real concern about MRSA in particular and poor oral health can be a source.

2) They do not want problems when they intubate you - i.e. they do not want to knock any loose teeth out!

Hopefully you'll not have to loose all of your teeth - fingers crossed you'll not need to loose any!

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I would not worry about you teeth. You can probably get a dental plate on the NHS. I did. Neville email nevillepearson1@virginmedia.com


Hi Neville, you should remove your email address from your post to avoid spammers and the like



I think there is an infection question here.

It’s not just MRSA - your Drs want you to be healthy and not at risk from any infection which could then compromise the success of any heart surgery.

Types of dental infection include having an abscess and sometimes having the tooth extracted is the only answer.

There is also the question of loose teeth which has also been mentioned- teeth can be knocked out during an op no matter how careful the anaesthetist is!

Just make an appt with your dentist and let them know why you are coming in.

Make sure you have your full list of medications and doses ready.

Wishing you well

Sara (dentist wife and practice manager- but not a dentist!)


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