oral bacteria and overall health

Before a dental procedure is performed, Drs. Icard or Strein, dentists in Harrisburg, may require you to undergo a round of antibiotic prophylaxis. Antibiotic prophylaxis is commonly used medications like amoxicillin. Practitioners use this approach to proactively prevent infection from occurring as a result of oral bacteria that already exists in your oral cavity pre- and post-procedure.

What type of dental patients need antibiotic prophylaxis?

A dentist often will require the administration of antibiotic prophylaxis to patients who have a pre-existing condition like heart disease. To help identify patients who are most at risk of infection, practitioners consider the following:

Does the patient have:

  • A history of endocarditis, an infection of the lining of the heart or its valves.
  • Undergone a heart transplant.
  • Had a procedure to implant an artificial heart valve.
  • A pre-existing heart-related issue that existed from the time of birth.

Patients who have an existing heart condition are at greater risk for developing infective endocarditis.

Before any procedure is scheduled, you will be evaluated to determine whether or not you will need this type of procedure prep. Some other factors that contribute to the existence of harmful bacteria include tooth decay, gum disease, extremely poor dental hygiene, smoking, gingivitis and dry mouth.

How can oral bacteria affect you after a dental procedure?

When oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, it is referred to as bacteremia or blood poisoning. Bacteremia affects the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems to name a few. Bacteria isn’t stagnant, it moves throughout your body via the bloodstream and impacts every system it touches.

5 chronic conditions caused by oral bacteria

Oral health can negatively impact your overall health. Below, you will find a list of five health-related conditions that are not often talked about but are directly related to oral bacteria.


A disease that affects the brain. Gum inflammation can actually deteriorate the brain cells and lead to memory loss.


An issue experienced by # of women each year. A woman with poor oral health may want to take into consideration the health of her oral cavity as a possible contributing factor in her inability to conceive. Gum disease can make it difficult for a woman to not only conceive but also carry a baby to full term.

Kidney Disease

Risk factors include periodontal disease and other oral cavity infections.

Erectile Dysfunction

The condition can be related to Chronic Periodontal disease. CPD is a condition that allows infectious blood to be carried throughout the body including the genitalia This infectious blood is known to be a contributing factor in the blockage of blood flow to the genitals making erections more difficult.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to the National rheumatoid arthritis Society, people with gum disease are four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis. This is because gum disease and RA mimic each other in that they are both caused by bacteria and inflammation. Oral bacteria has been linked to the worsening of this type of arthritis

Make an appointment with your dentist so that he/she may help determine your risk for these diseases. One thing to remember is that your body is one unit with different parts that make up the unit. If one area of the body has excessive bacteria leading that lead to inflammatory issue it is likely that some other part of the body will also be affected. Inflammation spreads pretty quickly, the best big way to ensure that your oral cavity is not the culprit is to talk to your dentist.

Bacteria in the mouth will exist regardless, but there is a big difference between some bacteria which occurs naturally and the increased production of bacteria that cause infection. You practitioner can help you to lower the risk of infection by evaluating your need for antibiotics before and after a procedure.

Our Dentists in Harrisburg NC Can Help

Contact our dental team if you have any questions or concerns regarding oral health. During your visit, an examination will be administered to help determine the best care plan and cost. Give us a call at 704.455.5003