Shelby Township Dentist Explains Antibiotics

Question: I was told by my new dentist to take antibiotics before my cleaning, but she didn’t explain to me exactly why I needed to. Please explain the necessity because I hate having to take medications all the time.

Answer: Any time there is bleeding in the mouth, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream. The body’s immune system usually then destroys the bacteria.
In people who have certain heart diseases or deformities, however, the bacteria may settle on abnormal heart valves or heart muscle tissue that has been weakened by an existing heart problem or heart surgery. In these cases, the bacteria can cause a serious inflammation of the heart valves or tissues called bacterial endocarditis.

To reduce the risk of bacterial endocarditis, people with certain heart conditions will be given one dose of an antibiotic to take approximately one hour before dental procedures that are likely to cause oral bleeding.

Be sure to tell your dentist if you have a heart condition. He or she will need to note this information in your patient record and may want to speak with your physician further.
The recommendations regarding antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent bacterial endocarditis are developed by the American Heart Association.

Important note: The recommendations are meant to help the dentist or physician determine whether you could benefit from antibiotic prophylaxis. However, they do not override the professional judgment of your doctors.

The most common diagnosis is if there was a heart murmur detected during a physical. This heart murmur is the sound the physician hears as the blood flows through the heart.
Not everyone who has a heart murmur is at risk for bacterial endocarditis. Your physician or cardiologist can tell you if you need to take antibiotics before certain dental treatments.
Even if your physician says antibiotic prophylaxis is unnecessary, you should tell your dentist about your heart condition and your physician’s recommendation. Your dentist may want to note this information in your patient record or speak with your physician further.

Shelby Township Dentist Explains Antibiotics

Dr Antolak practices dentistry in Shelby Township, Michigan. For any other dental questions you may have please call The Gentle Dentist at: 586-247-3500.

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