Antibiotics Before Dental Treatment
You may have been advised by your doctor to take antibiotics before your appointment as a safeguard to your health and may have wondered why.
Any time there is bleeding in the mouth, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart. This presents a risk for some patients who have heart abnormalities. The following are the rationale for this special instruction.
Premedication may be necessary for dental procedures such as professional tooth cleaning; extractions; incision and drainage of infected oral tissue; some types of injections; and some oral surgeries. Tell your doctor if your health status has changed since your last visit and if any of the following apply to you:
- Heart surgery within the last 6 months
- Vascular surgery (replaced artery) within the past 6 months
- A history of rheumatic fever
- Heart murmur (mitral valve prolapse)
- Have a pacemaker
- Previous history of bacterial endocarditis
- History of rheumatic fever
- Have a systemic pulmonary shunt
- Have a heart defect at birth
- Have acquired heart valve dysfunction
- Have been diagnosed with other heart ailments
Gum infections and poor dental hygiene at home may spread heart-threatening bacteria. Take good care of your teeth by brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Clean between your teeth with dental floss and or an interdental cleaner once a day. Schedule regular dental appointments to have your teeth cleaned and examined.
If you are a patient with heart disease or if you have a special heart condition, taking good care of your teeth and gums is a must - not just for a healthy smile, but also for a healthy body too.