Warren Dentistry - Michigan

Infective Endocarditis

Infective endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium of your heart.  Infective endocarditis usually occurs when certain strains of bacteria enter your bloodstream and fasten themselves to your heart.  Your immune system usually gets rid of the bacteria in your bloodstream before they even reach your heart.

But if the bacteria does reach your heart, you are at greater risk of getting infective endocarditis if you have had heart surgery for a heart condition or if you have an unknown heart condition that has to some extent, damaged and or diseased your heart.  It is easier for bacteria to attach itself and grow on a damaged and or diseased heart.  Signs and symptoms you may experience if you have infective endocarditis are as follows:

  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats or excessive sweating
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in your joints and muscles
  • Paleness
  • Relentless coughing
  • Swollen feet, legs or abdomen
  • Blood in your urine
  • An additional heart murmur
  • Bleeding that causes small dark lines under the fingernails or small dark spots on the skin
  • An enlarged or tender spleen
  • A low red blood cell count

If you are experiencing any of the sign and symptoms from above, please contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.  To diagnose infective endocarditis a series of questions are asked about your health and medical history, a number of tests are performed along with a physical examination. 

If you do have infective endocarditis, treatment will include high doses of antibiotics (up to six weeks) either intravenous at the hospital, or orally at home, depending on the level of infection.  You may also have complications with your heart after the infection is removed.  If infective endocarditis is left untreated, serious complications with your heart or blood clots can lead to heart failure and usually death.

Although there are other causes of infective endocarditis, dental procedures are the most common.  Many common dental procedures and the presence of periodontal gum disease can cause minor bleeding that might allow bacteria’s called streptococci, to enter your bloodstream and fasten to your heart. 

To prevent infective endocarditis, please ask your dentist if you need an antibiotic prescribed to you before certain dental procedures are performed if you have a heart condition or have had surgery for a heart condition. It also best to maintain proper oral hygiene by regular brushing, flossing, use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash, tongue cleaning and regular dental exams.

To receive more information about infective endocarditis or to schedule a regular dental exam, please contact Dr. Dhayni, DDS at (586)-558-8200 or email us at info@warrendentistry.com. Our office is located at 30205 Schoenherr Rd, Suite E, Warren, Michigan 48088.  Dr. Dhayni, of Warren Dentistry, provides general and cosmetic dental services in the Metro Detroit Michigan Area.



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Dr. M. Rizk, Cardiologist
Warren Dentistry
30205 Schoenherr Rd, Suite E. • Warren, MI 48088
Phone: 586-558-8200 • Fax: 586-558-8300
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