After Going to Dentist, Man Finds Odd Lump on His Hand; It Turned Out to Be a Heart Issue

The human body is a strange and complex organism. Sometimes we think about it in pieces-- our hearts are one thing, teeth are another. Hands are still another. But they are all connected, and as it turns out, one thing does have to do with another when it comes to the body.

One man had a strange series of health issues kick off after a simple trip to the dentist.

A 27-year-old man from Vancouver, Canada went to the dentist for a routine visit. Shortly after that, he developed a small, red mark on the palm of his hand.

The unnamed man said the mark was bothersome, but for the most part he ignored it. Over the next two weeks it grew into a strange, blue bump.

About a month after developing the lesion, the man finally went to the emergency room. He complained that the lump on his hand was uncomfortable, and he'd been suffering from abdominal pain as well.

After doctors questioned him for a while, they also learned he'd had been suffering from night sweats and a decreased appetite. He had lost 12 pounds since his visit to the dentist six weeks earlier, and he was running a fever.

Doctors performed blood tests and found the man had streptococcus salivarius, bacteria usually found in the mouth. During the dental work, it's possible that some of the virus became dislodged and got into the man's blood stream. It worked its way to his heart and infected his aortic valve.

The man was diagnosed with endocarditis, an inflammation of the inner heart lining. The lump on his hand was a mycotic aneurysm that resulted from the damaged blood vessel.

The man's case made it into the medical journals because it's an uncommon diagnosis, and even more uncommon in the way the man ended up getting it. Only one in 30,000 people are affected by the infection every year.

Ultimately the man's condition was treated with antibiotics, which helped combat the infection within two days. The man was then required to have surgery to replace the aortic valve that was damaged, and to repair the aneurysm on his hand.

According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors have found that there is a connection between oral health and heart health. Some studies suggest that treating gum disease may reduce the risk of heart disease.

People who have poor oral hygiene are more likely to be at risk for developing heart disease, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

While taking care of your teeth and gums is not guaranteed to prevent heart issues, it could, in the long run, be beneficial to your overall health. According to the 'Annals of Internal Medicine', people are more likely to have a heart attack within four weeks of major dental work than they are at any other time.

This is largely the result of extreme stress reactions over the pain and concerns.

While statistically a heart attack risk increases after dental work, however, the overall risk is fairly low. People shouldn’t be afraid to get the dental work done. Still, taking good care of teeth and gums can prevent you from being stuck in that situation.

Source: Vancouver Sun
Photos: New England Journal Of Medicine, US Navy, Little Rock Airforce Base, Fandon Wiki

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