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Heart Health

Some heart patients need antibiotics before dental work

December 1, 2022

Research we're watching

photo of a dental hygenist cleaning a patient's teeth

Guidelines suggest that people with certain heart conditions take antibiotics before invasive dental procedures. A new study confirms the benefit of this practice for reducing the risk of endocarditis, a serious heart infection often caused by bacteria from the mouth.

Published Sept. 13, 2022, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the study relied on health and dental records from nearly eight million people, including more than 36,000 at high risk for endocarditis. This includes people with a replaced or repaired heart valve, certain congenital heart defects, or a history of endocarditis.

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About the Author

photo of Julie Corliss

Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Julie Corliss is the executive editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. Before working at Harvard, she was a medical writer and editor at HealthNews, a consumer newsletter affiliated with The New England Journal of Medicine. She … See Full Bio
View all posts by Julie Corliss

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