Dental Treatment for Endocarditis Patients
Some patients may have concerns about developing endocarditis from a dental procedure. Endocarditis is a rare but dangerous infection of the inner lining of the heart. Also called infective endocarditis (IE), this condition can occur if bacteria gets into the bloodstream and attaches to the heart. Unhealthy teeth and gums can be the source of the bacteria that leads to endocarditis following a dental procedure.
If you have previously had endocarditis, you’re at a higher risk for developing the condition again. Patients with an artificial heart valve, pacemaker, or suppressed immune system are also at an increased risk for endocarditis. In any of these high-risk instances, the dentist may recommend antibiotic oral treatment for endocarditis prevention before you have any dental procedures. It’s also advisable to make sure your dentist has your cardiologist’s contact information in case they want to discuss your treatment and health conditions.
When you work with the dental professionals at the offices of Dr. Matthew J. Cavendish, DDS, in Phoenix, AZ, we’ll make sure that we have your complete medical history before beginning any dental work. If you’ve been searching for a dentist with endocarditis experience, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What Is Endocarditis ?
Endocarditis is a life-threatening condition that can damage the heart, and it requires immediate treatment. Dental endocarditis symptoms include:
- Skin rash
- Aching joints and muscles
- Chest pain when breathing
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the feet, legs, or belly
- Development of a heart murmur
If you suspect you have developed endocarditis, seek medical attention immediately.
Signs of Dental Problems
Untreated dental problems can quickly grow into major issues. If you notice any of the following problems with your gums or teeth, it’s important to see the dentist right away. Contact us for an appointment if you have:
- Red, tender, or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Noticeable change in your bite
- Loose teeth
- Pain around gums
Don’t make the mistake of assuming dental conditions are only minor concerns. At the offices of Dr. Matthew J. Cavendish, we’ll do a complete exam to uncover the source of any dental problems and work with you to restore your oral health.
Dental Infection and Endocarditis
At one time, antibiotics were routinely given as a preventive measure before dental care to anyone with heart issues. Today, most experts recommend maintaining oral hygiene as the best method of endocarditis prevention for most patients. People should see a dentist every six months and regularly brush and floss their teeth in order to maintain their oral health, avoid dental infections, and treat any signs of disease before they progress. Some types of bacteria that come with periodontal disease, which is the advanced form of gum disease, are especially harmful if they reach the heart.
What to Expect During Treatment to Prevent Endocarditis
If you’re at high risk for endocarditis, Dr. Cavendish may prescribe preventive antibiotics before your procedure. For patients who aren’t at high risk, preventing endocarditis is best done through proper oral hygiene, especially to avoid gum and periodontal disease. These common conditions involve elevated levels of bacteria in the mouth and body. When you visit Dr. Cavendish, we’ll look for signs of gum or periodontal disease. We will monitor your oral health by measuring pockets or gaps in your gums, and our routine cleanings will ensure that tartar and plaque are removed before they can cause problems. If your periodontal disease progresses, we can treat it with scaling and root planing to remove bacteria or perform periodontal surgery. Ongoing care for gum or periodontal disease is an important part of preventing endocarditis.
Why Choose Dr. Matthew J. Cavendish, DDS?
When you choose Dr. Matthew J. Cavendish, DDS, in Phoenix, AZ, you’ll be working with a team of highly qualified professionals who utilize the latest dental technology to deliver effective, state-of-the-art care. If you have concerns about endocarditis or any other conditions, Dr. Cavendish will carefully assess your medical history and oral health before making any recommendations. With years of experience handling all types of dental issues, he can offer informed, compassionate dental treatment that promotes optimum oral health.
Contact Dr. Matthew Cavendish, DDS
If you live in or near Phoenix, AZ, and need dental care for any issues, from cleaning to extraction, contact the offices of Dr. Matthew J. Cavendish. Our comfortable, inviting office provides a welcoming atmosphere, and you can rely on us for non-judgmental, friendly assistance. Fill out our contact form or call us today to schedule an appointment.