Oral health among children with cardiovascular disease and risk of infective endocarditis

Adriana Craciun 1, Diana Cerghizan 1, Cristina Bica 1
1 Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Tirgu Mures, Romania

Congenital cardiac diseases are the most common and severe anomalies present at birth, with a significant impact on infant morbidity and mortality. In Romania, 1,500-1,600 babies with congenital cardiac diseases are born every year. Of these, 850-950 a year require surgical correction. Each of these babies’ hospital discharge sheet recommends preventing infective endocarditis. For this reason, treating these patients is a challenge not just for pediatricians, but also for pediatric dentists or dentists in general. Firstly, these children are predisposed to developing infective endocarditis as a consequence of bacteremia induced by dental procedures.
Secondly, children whose health is severely affected can have a low tolerance to the stress induced by dental treatment. Thirdly, hematological, respiratory and neurological complications, as well as any chronic medication administered, must be taken into account when preparing a dental treatment plan for children with congenital cardiac conditions [1, 2]. Certain authors believed that the role of dental procedures in inducing infective endocarditis had been overestimated [3, 4]. The prevention of bacterial endocarditis in the case of children at risk involves both parents and pediatric dentists knowing the risks these children are exposed to, as well as the responsibilities they have.