Endocarditis and Dental Work

teeth whitening englewood coEndocarditis is a rare and life-threatening condition where the lining of your heart muscle and its valves becomes inflamed because of a bacterial infection. It is very important to talk to your dentist if your are ask risk for endocarditis so that he/she can prescribe an antibiotic before you get dental work done.

Who Should Take an Antibiotic?

The American Heart Association recommends that patients take an antibiotic prior to dental treatment only if they have:

  • had bacterial endocarditis before
  • a prosthetic cardiac valve or prosthetic material used in valve repair
  • cardiac valve disease and has had a cardiac transplant
  • congenital heart disease. This would include the following conditions: unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device during the first six months after the procedure, and repaired congenital heart disease with defects that remain at or near the site of a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device.

When to take Antibiotics?

The AHA guidelines suggest preventive antibiotic treatment for only the following dental procedures:

  • Dental procedures that involve manipulation of gingival tissue or the periapical region of teeth
  • Dental procedures in which the inside lining of the mouth is perforated

The AHA guidelines do not recommend preventive antibiotics for the following dental procedures or events:

  • Routine anesthetic injections through noninfected tissue
  • Dental X-rays
  • Placement of removable prosthodontic or orthodontic appliances
  • Adjustment of orthodontic appliances
  • Placement of orthodontic brackets
  • Shedding of baby teeth
  • Bleeding from trauma to the lips or inside of the mouth

How to Lower Your Risk of infection

Make sure that your dentist is aware of your heart condition. Give your dentist a complete list of your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, this includes vitamins and herbal remedies.

Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once every day.

If you live in the Englewood Colorado area and would like to set up an appointment, give us a call at 303-781-0624 or set up an appointment online.