Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the lining inside of the heart muscle and valves. Bacteria attach to the lining, usually on the heart valves. They grow there and can damage the valves. Children with some kinds of heart defects or heart diseases (such as rheumatic fever) are more likely to get this infection. Children with other heart defects are better off not taking antibiotic medicines before dental work.
Taking antibiotics to prevent or reduce bacterial endocarditis may not provide a great benefit. However, antibiotics are still recommended before work that may cause bleeding. This kind of dental work is more likely to result in bacteria in the blood stream. Antibiotics are advised before dental work that may cut mouth tissue or gums, such as:
Your child does not need to take the medicine if there will be no bleeding. Dental work that usually does not cause bleeding includes:
Antibiotics are not needed when your child loses baby teeth.
Your child should take antibiotics before surgeries and procedures that involve:
Your child does not need antibiotics for procedures such as:
Your healthcare provider can decide if your child needs antibiotics. Always talk to your provider if you have any questions.
Be sure to tell your provider if your child is allergic to any medicines.