Are Antibiotics Necessary for Heart Patients before Receiving Dental Care Treatment?
In the past, many physicians recommended people with heart problems should take precautionary antibiotics before receiving dental care treatment, but the American Heart Association recently updated its recommendations, and now only recommends those people who are at greatest risk should take short-term preventative antibiotics before receiving routine dental procedures.
The Argument Against Taking Antibiotics Before Dental Treatment
According to scientific studies, the benefits of taking preventative antibiotics are outweighed by the risks which include adverse reactions to the drugs, or more importantly the risk of developing drug resistant bacteria. Scientific studies have found no compelling evidence for heart patients to take antibiotics, as their hearts were already exposed to bacteria from the mouth which is able to enter the bloodstream through daily activities such as flossing and brushing. The American Heart Association felt it was more important to maintain good daily oral hygiene practices for reducing the risk of developing dental diseases.
Some Heart Patients May Still Need Antibiotics before Dental Care
However antibiotics are still recommended for some people with heart conditions, including those with artificial heart valves, people who have certain serious congenital defects, people who have had a cardiac transplant, and those who have already had infective endocarditis. Patients are recommended to seek advice from their physician and best dentist about taking antibiotics and avoiding the risk of developing dental diseases.
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