If you have certain preexisting heart conditions, you may be at risk for developing bacterial endocarditis — an infection of the heart’s inner lining or the valves.
Anytime there is bleeding in the mouth, certain oral bacteria can enter the blood stream and may settle on abnormal heart valves or tissue weakened by an existing heart problem or heart condition. In these cases, the infection can damage or even destroy heart valves or tissue.
There are precautions you need to take if you have any of the following conditions:
• Artificial (prosthetic) heart valves
• A history of endocarditis
• Congenital heart or heart valve defects
• Heart valves damaged (scarred) by conditions such as rheumatic fever
• Mitral valve prolapse with a murmur
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Be sure to tell your dentist if you have a heart condition, and what, if any, medications you are taking for it. Your dentist will record important health information in your record and coordinate treatment with your physician.