Orthodontic Procedures and Rheumatic Heart Disease

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Submitted by Dr T on September 5, 2013 – 8:11am

Question: 
I am a rheumatic heart patient and I take penicilline benzathine injections every month. can I wear braces? what precaution must i do if i wear braces?
Hi Suzanna,
Yes, of course you can wear braces and no you don’t need special precautions. Recommendations have changed in regards to protection against cardiac complication with dental procedures:
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis is used to prevent an infection inside the heart (called Infective Endocarditis) of susceptible patients. As an example, even a minor infection, such as a tooth abscess can cause severe bacterial endocarditis. However, recent recommendations for prophylactic antibiotic therapy before a procedure  in patients with heart valve and other cardiac diseases have changed and now include :
  • Infective Endocarditis is more likely to result from exposure to random bacterial infections associated with daily activities than caused by dental, GI tract, or GU (kidney, bladder), or orthopedic procedures. 
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis is no longer indicated in many cardiac patients for prevention of Infective Endocarditis.
This means that if you take good care of your teeth and call for help with any problems, you should be just as save as with these penicillin treatments.
Hope this helps,

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