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Dental Care as an Adult with CHD

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

By Steve Graham

Good dental care and good dental hygiene is essential for everyone. This is especially true for adults with CHD. As a child, I can remember my parents stressing that I always take my “medicine” before any dental appointment. When I left for college, they still pestered me about the importance of my pre-meds. It wasn’t until later into adulthood, that I realized how important taking my “medicine” was before any appointment.

Over the last decade, with the change in guidelines for dental prophylaxis, I have experienced dentists who refused to prescribe my antibiotics until they have seen me at least once. I have experienced some dentists who are not familiar with the certain CHD diagnoses for which antibiotics are recommended by the American Heart Association. One dentist attempted to give me a non-preferred antibiotic right before the appointment; you need one hour prior to your appointment for the medicine to be effective.

Some dentists have attempted to do more on that first visit, resulting in bleeding of the gums. My rule is no matter how innocent the dental visit, talk to your ACHD doctor about taking the pre-meds and have him or her prescribe your antibiotics. The bottom line is, do not devalue the importance of good dental hygiene and taking antibiotics before your dental visits if your ACHD doctor recommends it.


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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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