The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

October 31, 2013

Endocarditis and dental work

DEAR DR. ROACH: How effective is premedication for dental work? Because of mitral valve surgery I had 11 years ago, I always take antibiotics before dental procedures. This past March, I did the normal protocol. Within a few weeks, I developed a low-grade temperature. I did not pay attention to it, thinking it would go away, until I developed a 103-degree temperature with chills and shaking. I had bacterial endocarditis. May I presume that the endocarditis came from the dental work, despite the antibiotics? — N.I.

ANSWER: Endocarditis, infection of a heart valve, is a rare event after dental procedures with or without antibiotics. Bacteria can transiently enter the blood after brushing teeth or having a bowel movement. In your case, it is much more likely that it was not the dental procedure, according to the most recent guidelines from the American Heart Association. They stress these points (and I am paraphrasing): Antibiotics may prevent an exceedingly small number of cases of infection, if any, in individuals who undergo a dental or other procedure. The risk of antibiotic-associated adverse events exceeds the benefit, if any, from prophylactic antibiotic therapy.

Because of this, the AHA now recommends antibiotics only for people with very high risk conditions: a history of endocarditis, people with a prosthetic heart valve or prosthetic material used in surgery, people with a heart transplant and valve disease, and unrepaired congenital heart disease. Only dental procedures expected to cause bacteria in the blood would call for antibiotics, and not procedures such as anesthetic injections or X-rays.

DEAR DR. ROACH: After two close calls with blood clots in the lungs, my husband has been put on Coumadin permanently. He is in a lot of pain from arthritis and needs something for pain. Is there anything he can take? — R.M.C.

Text Only
Food & Health
  • Watermelon Think beyond the slice with refreshing watermelon

    Watermelon is one of those foods you really don’t need to overthink.
    Slice it. Eat it. Spit out the occasional seed. Done.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8M in refunds

    The federal government says insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8 million in refunds because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

    July 24, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.The weak link seemed to be call cente

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'

    Illinois doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice organizations are ramping up for their role as gatekeepers in the state's new medical marijuana program.

    July 23, 2014

  • Amanda Stecker Herbs make a better way to flavor meals Summer is a season full of fresh herbs. This is the best time of year to take advantage of the fresh herbs in the grocery store. Herbs add a boost of flavor without added sodium and are rich in antioxidants. Herbs are easy to incorporate into everyda

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Genome Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick.Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Bice Nurses earn Daisy awards

    CLINTON — Two Clinton nurses recently earned Daisy awards.Mercy Medical Center nurses Jodie Atkinson and Kristen Bice earned the awards that is rewarded to extraordinary nurses. Atkinson began her career in nursing at Mercy Medical Center in 1995 on

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.