Let your dentist know about your medical conditions

Using an antibiotic before dental cleaning is vital for some patients. The reason is to reduce their risk for infection.

When can a dental cleaning put a patient at risk?

When your dentist cleans your teeth, sometimes bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream. The bacteria can travel to other areas of the body and possibly cause an infection. In healthy individuals, their immune system typically kills the bacteria.

However, according to JADA, heart conditions put some people at risk. An infection of the heart lining or values might develop as a result of a dental cleaning. This condition is called infective endocarditis (IE). Dentists and doctors should consider using an antibiotic before teeth cleaning for patients who have:

  • A medical history of IE
  • A heart transplant that has developed a valve problem
  • A heart defect or disease from birth
  • A repaired heart valve or prosthetic heart value

Who else might need an antibiotic before dental cleaning?

Other people with a lessened ability to fight infections might include patients:

  • With diabetes
  • Who have rheumatoid arthritis
  • With cancer
  • Taking medications such as steroids
  • Receiving chemotherapy

A knee or hip replacement surgery does not necessarily make you a candidate for antibiotics unless you also have a weakened immune system.

Precautions to take when visiting your dentist

It’s vital to let your dentist know about any change in your health. In particular, mention whether you have any of the conditions listed above.

Would you like to talk schedule a dental visit?

Give us a call to schedule an appointment. Our number is (512) 806-7740. At Hutto Hippo Family Dental we’re glad to answer your questions and can schedule an appointment.