Congenital heart disease
Studies have shown that chronic Gingivitis in patients with Congenital Heart Disease puts the child at a high risk for Microbial Endocarditis, higher than that of dental surgery! This is why the need for early Dental intervention and prevention is imperative.
Cooping mechanisms at the Dental clinic
International guidelines for antibiotic coverage of patients before Dental treatment to prevent ME are constantly changing and fewer diseases require coverage (American Heart Association (AHA), Circulation 2007; 116: 1736-1754). The Dentist and the treating Physician will be able to judge whether the child needs antibiotics based on the instructions and the nature of the Dental treatment.
- Inform the Dentist if the child is taking any medication, e.g. Anticoagulants, etc. Visit the Dentist very early for PREVENTION.
- Early prevention will reduce or even eliminate the likelihood of Gingivitis or caries and hence the risk of Microbial Endocarditis.
- If the child needs a lot of Dental treatments, they are schedules in a way so that many of them are done at the same time in order not to burden the child with many antibiotics. Frequent prophylactic antibiotics cause antibiotic resistance, which is both undesirable and dangerous.
- Poor oral hygiene can burden heart disease due to the increased microbial presence and due to the chronic gingivitis present in the oral cavity. Especially in patients with Mitral valve disease this is a particularly dangerous scenario for microbial endocarditis!
- Do not underestimate the value of perfect oral hygiene! The Dentist will explain the correct technique for brushing and flossing. You need the Dentist’s suggestions for proper hygiene. Remember that the parent should take full responsibility for the dental hygiene of the child with heart disease up to at least 10-12 years of age.
- Mouth rinse is a useful supplement. However, the type and frequency of use will be determined by the Dentist.