Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Research has shown that oral hygiene plays a key role in reducing the risk of developing infective endocarditis, an infection in the heart that is caused by certain bacteria found within the mouth. This leads to the recommendation that those who are at the highest risk of this infection be provided antibiotics as a preventative measure before they undergo any dental procedure that is considered invasive.
Understanding infective endocarditis
Bacterial endocarditis - or infective endocarditis - occurs when bacteria enter into the blood stream and follow it to the heart valve, heart lining, or settle in a blood vessel along the way. While this is not a common occurrence it can increase the risk of complications for those who have had heart surgery or heart disease in the past.
These bacteria are found collected within the plaque that coats a tooth or teeth and often cause the gums to become inflamed and swell. Gums that are inflamed can be painful and bleed, but also pass the bacteria to the blood and throughout the body.
New research has confirmed that the recommendations remain that some patience receive antibiotics before invasive dental treatments. These include anyone with prosthetic heart valves, congenital heart disease, a heart transplant at any time, and people who have had infective endocarditis previously.
Regular dental care recommended
As concern increased over developing antibiotic resistance there was a review of these recommendations and they have been maintained. Studies have shown that there is a higher risk of developing this bacterial infection by not maintaining oral hygiene on an ongoing basis and by not brushing or flossing regularly.
To reduce the occurrences of this heart infection it is necessary to receive regular dental care. Those currently not visiting a dentist should find one.
"Scientific data since the 2007 AHA guidelines support the view that limited use of preventive antibiotics for dental procedures hasn't increased cases of endocarditis and is an important step at combating antibiotic overuse in the population," says Walter R. Wilson, M.D, a consultant for Division of Infection Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
This guideline has lead to a drastic reduction in the prescribing of preventative antibiotics before dental procedures. Reducing the overuse of antibiotics can help to fight antibiotic resistance that is occurring in society. Where medical care providers recommend preventative antibiotics they are still being used, and the final decision lies with the dental professional and medical care provider.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.