Dentists Can Help Prevent Disease in Stamford

It’s a common mistake for people to keep their dentists out of the loop when it comes to other health concerns, but your dentist may be a first line of defense against diseases in Stamford. If you suffer from heart disease, Antibiotic Prophylaxis may be something that you should look into with the dental staff.

What is Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

Antibiotic Prophylaxis is when dentists or doctors use antibiotics as a preventative medicine rather than a treatment for a problem. The use of Antibiotic Prophylaxis is not as common as it was, even ten years ago, as more people are resistant to antibiotics. However, in certain conditions, it may be an option to prevent problems that can arise after procedures.

Why is Antibiotic Prophylaxis used?

The use of antibiotics as a preventative treatment prior to dental surgery or procedures goes back as far as the 1950s. There were no real studies to prove or disprove the use of antibiotics before or after surgery, however, the American Dental Association began endorsing Antibiotic Prophylaxis in the 1970’s based on expert opinion and empirical data. 

As the use of antibiotics, in general, became more prevalent, the problem became a resistance to the “cure”. The more antibiotics that were used outside of procedures, the more individuals would build up a resistance requiring stronger and stronger antibiotics.

For the next thirty-odd years, antibiotics were used post-procedure for individuals with heart conditions, liver conditions, diabetics, individuals with artificial joints, and those that had organ transplants. 

The research was conducted and the studies concluded that the risk of bacterial infections was as likely from poor oral hygiene as it was from the dental procedures themselves. There is more bacteria, normally, in your mouth than the bacteria that could cause an infection with the procedures. 

Around 2007, the American Heart Association came up with guidelines for antibiotics for preoperative use. Not all heart patients will require antibiotics prior to extractions or oral surgery. Only those with a risk of Infective endocarditis may want to opt for this prophylactic.

How do you decide to use or not use Antibiotic Prophylaxis in Stamford?

If you believe you might be at risk for Infective endocarditis, you should talk to your cardiologist. They will be able to tell you if the risk is there and walk you through what procedures you should take.

Always make sure to tell the dental staff of any health conditions outside of the health of your mouth. Certain medications, conditions, or risks can be managed but only if the staff is aware.

We often separate our mouth from the rest of our body when it comes to our overall health, but in reality, it is our first line of defense. Keeping your mouth healthy and working properly allows the rest of your body to perform at its peak. 

Our dental staff wants to make sure you are putting the best into your whole body. Keep us informed and call us for a consultation today at (203) 324-7777.