Teeth Cleaning And Antibiotics


It used to be that if you had heart disease of any kind, doctors prescribed a treatment of antibiotics if the patient was going in for any type of procedure at the dentist. The thought was that the bacteria in the mouth from your cleaning would get into the blood stream and get to the heart and infect it, usually the valves, called endocarditis

The changes were made because it was discovered that infective endocarditis is more likely to occur after frequent exposure to bacteria from routine activities such as chewing food or brushing one’s teeth than from occasional dental, gastrointestinal tract or genitourinary tract procedures. In addition, the risks of taking antibiotics were found to exceed the possible benefits to most people. These risks include allergic reactions, diarrhea, bowel infections and the development of bacteria that are highly resistant to available antibiotics.

Antibiotics for the purpose of endocarditis prevention are still recommended for high-risk patients undergoing certain invasive procedures involving the dental area, respiratory tract and infected skin or musculoskeletal tissues. This includes people with conditions such as an artificial heart valve, history of endocarditis or a heart transplant with abnormal heart valve function. Individuals with certain birth defects of the heart that have not been completely repaired also fall into this higher-risk group.

Yet still, had to get my teeth cleaned and my cardiologist told me that anti biotics are no longer required for dental procedures. Before I read these facts I told him I still want a prescription. It’s one tablet an hour before the procedure. I’ll just load up on probiotic afterwards. I’d rather have a bout of diarrhea than an infected heart valve.

I got my way, and according to the facts, I fall into the risk column. And that just goes to say that you know your body. If your doctor won’t listen to you, find another.

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