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Dental Health and Endocarditis Prevention

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What Dental Procedures Are Antibiotics Recommended For?

The new guidelines suggest preventive treatment for all patients with cardiac conditions listed above, but not for all dental procedures.

The guidelines suggest treatment only:

  • During dental procedures that involve manipulation of gingival tissue (around bone and teeth) or the periapical region of teeth (tip of the tooth root)
  • When the inside lining of the mouth is perforated

The guidelines do not recommend antibiotics for these 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

Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Lower My Risk for Bacterial Endocarditis?

  • Tell your dentist if your health has changed since your last visit. Be sure to let your dentist know if you've had heart or vascular surgery within the past six months. Also report if you have been diagnosed with other heart conditions.
  • Make sure your dentist has a complete list of the names and dosages of your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Make sure your dentist has the names and phone numbers of all of your doctors. Your dentist may want to consult with your doctor about your dental care plan and medication choices.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day; floss at least once daily. Good oral and dental health is very important for patients at risk for endocarditis.

What Are the Symptoms of Endocarditis?

Possible symptoms of endocarditis include:

  • Unexplained fever
  • Night chills
  • Weakness, muscle pain, or joint pain
  • Sluggishness (lethargy) or malaise (general ill feeling)

Keep in mind that receiving antibiotics greatly lowers the risk of endocarditis. However, it is not a guarantee. Also keep in mind that most cases of procedure-related endocarditis occur within two weeks of the procedure. So if you have any of these symptoms beyond this time, it is not very likely that you have endocarditis. It is always wise to check with your doctor or dentist if you have any concerns.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Elverne M Tonn, DDS on June 03, 2012
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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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