Infective endocarditis is a relatively uncommon infection of the heart valves that can be life threatening. The infection occurs when bacteria or other micro-organisms enter the body and reach the heart. A very common way of bacteria entrance is through the mouth. To prevent infective endocarditis in a patient with a weak heart, antibiotics should be taken before doing certain dental treatments.

The American Heart Association recommends taking antibiotics before dental treatments for patients with:

  • Previous history of infective endocarditis.
  • Prosthetic (artificial) heart valves.
  • Recipients of cardiac transplantation who have cardiac valvular disease.
  • Certain congenital heart defects.

The American Heart Association also advises taking antibiotics before the following dental treatments:

The information above should be used as a reference only. Any medical decision should not be taken before consulting a health care professional.

The masculine gender may have been more used in the article, but without prejudice, to make reading easier.

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