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Good Oral Hygiene May Prevent Heart Infection

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on May 5 2021, 04:10 AM

Good Oral Hygiene May Prevent Heart Infection

If you have had certain heart conditions such as infective carditis, had a heart valve replacement, have had a heart transplant, or have congenital heart disease, you know that the heart can be a delicate organ which must be treated with care. This is especially important during dental procedures, which is why prior to certain dental procedures, Dr. Abelar may prescribe you antibiotics. 

But now, a new study has found that antibiotics may not be the only way to prevent the heart infection called infective endocarditis. Infective endocarditis occurs when bacteria from the mouth travel to the heart and accumulate in the blood vessels, valves, and the lining of the heart. Infective endocarditis may be more likely to occur in patients who have had heart transplants, or who have congenital heart disease or replaced heart valves, or who have already had infective endocarditis.

The study revealed that infective endocarditis can be prevented by good old-fashioned oral hygiene, which includes brushing regularly, flossing, and keeping teeth free of cavities and gums free of gum diseases.

In fact, it seems that by taking excellent care of your teeth and gums, you may not even need to take antibiotics prior to some dental procedures at all.

The study comes on the heels of recommendations to reduce the amount of antibiotics prescribed, in an effort to reduce antibiotic resistance and overuse among the general population. As a result, only members of the four groups mentioned above are encouraged to take antibiotics prior to procedures, while all other lower-risk groups are encouraged to care for their teeth and gums as a preventative measure against developing infective endocarditis.

These new guidelines will effectively result in approximately 90 percent less patients receiving antibiotics than before the new guidelines were put into place.

The study by the American Heart Association appeared in the journal Circulation.

If you are scheduled to have a dental procedure with Dr. Abelar, be sure to let him know your medical history so that he can prescribe the appropriate medication if necessary. In the meantime, maintain your best oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time, flossing at least once a day (preferably before bed) and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash.

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