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Resource: Dental Concerns Before Surgery at UPMC in Central Pa.

The mouth is the “gateway to the body.” Bacteria from the teeth and gums can affect overall health in many ways. The link between oral bacteria and undesirable effects on the body has been studied for many years. Dental plaque provides a place for germs and bacteria to grow and then move to other parts of the body, damaging organs and delaying wound healing. 

A complete dental exam and treatment of decayed and broken teeth should be conducted prior to a scheduled surgery. In addition to the treatment of dental cavities and infections, loose or broken teeth should be treated prior to surgery as well, as it is possible for them to become damaged or dislodged during the placement of the breathing tube by the Anesthesiologist.

To keep the mouth and teeth healthy, it is recommended to brush and floss every day – at least two times a day. Dentists also recommend avoiding certain cavity-producing foods, such as sugary treats, and avoiding tobacco products. You should also see your dentist or oral health professional regularly (recommended every six months).

If you do not have a dentist or you are unable to afford dental care, please let us know. There are organizations that provide dental care to those who cannot otherwise afford care.

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