| | Hole in heart, bleeding gums, and endocarditis (HELP!)
I was told about a year ago that I've had a small hole in my heart (PFO, I think the term is) since birth. It was recommended that I take antibiotics before any type of dental procedure. I didn't think much of this until this morning. I was brushing my teeth, and my gums were bleeding. I've actually had this problem for many years (poor oral hygiene, I suppose). Then it hit me.....In brushing my teeth, I am apparently putting myself at risk for endocarditis. Not only that, but every time I've brushed my teeth in the last few years (as long as my gums have been bleeding) I've put myself at risk. Is thinking this accurate? I'm currently quite frightened that I'll get endocarditis. What should I do? My gums have been bleeding when I brush my teeth for several years now, so I don't see that ending anytime soon (I don't think about it often because I don't brush nearly as often as I should). Can anyone at all give me advice on what I should do or how worried I should be? The cardiologist didn't give me much info on the size of the hole in my heart, unfortunately. All I know about the nature of it is that it's apparently very small. I also have MVP, if that's of any importance. Again, any advice is welcomed. Thanks.