Dr. Maciej Malinski is on the medical staff at Sherman Hospital. He has been kind enough to answer some frequently asked questions related to maintaining a healthy heart. Look for additional heart information from Dr. Malinski in the coming weeks.
Q: Does it make sense that my cardiologist never asked me if I have periodontal disease in making a decision to do a cardiac cath and insert a stent?
A: Coronary angiogram, stenting and angioplasty are usually done for treatment of symptomatic coronary artery disease (narrowing of arteries in the heart). Symptomatic heart disease means that the patient either has symptoms such as chest pains (angina), congestive heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction) or high risk features on the stress test.
The decision to proceed to a coronary angiogram just on the basis of presence of multiple risk factors is usually done on case-by-case basis. Out of all risk factors (cholesterol level, presence of hypertension, diabetes, presence of calcium in coronary arteries on a “heart CT scan”, family history of premature heart disease, levels of inflammatory markers and exertional capacity) periodontal disease has the weakest relation to risk of coronary artery disease.
In a nutshell, I would say that a cardiologist will rarely, if ever, take into account the presence of periodontal disease in the decision-making process that leads to a coronary angiogram.
Do you have a question for Dr. Malinski? To submit your question, either post it in the comments section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Question for Dr. Malinski.” For more information on heart health, click here to visit Sherman’s Heart and Vascular Center.
This post is published by Sherman Health to provide general health information. It is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from your physician.