Infective Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart which is caused by bacteria entering into the blood and travelling to the heart.
While this condition is relatively rare, it is a very serious condition which can lead to severe complications and in some instances can be potentially fatal.
Many patients require a long period of intravenous antibiotics (six weeks’ minimum).
In some cases, surgery will be required to repair or replace any damaged structures of your heart.
Patients at a higher risk of developing Infective Endocarditis include:
There has been a change in the guidelines recently to suggest what we should do to reduce the risk of Infective Endocarditis.
If you are at higher risk then you should receive antibiotic cover for specific dental treatments, such as root canal, scaling and treatments which involve manipulation of gingival (gum) or periapical (root) region of the teeth or perforation of the oral mucosa.
We advise that antibiotics should not be taken for:
Antibiotic prophylaxis is not recommended for non-dental procedures. Antibiotic therapy is only needed when invasive procedures are performed to treat an infection.
To try and reduce the risk of developing endocarditis there are several things that we recommend to all patients: