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Dental and Oral Health (Seniors)

Flossing with Mitral Prolapse

11/16/1999

Question:

Do you recommend flossing of your teeth daily as part of regular toothcare in a person who has congenital mitral prolapse with 3+ to 4+ regurgitation?

I am specifically inquiring whether there is an increased risk of bacterial septicemia or endocarditis under these circumstances or should one floss anyway!

Thank you

Answer:

The American Heart Association guideline on pre-medicating Dental patients at risk of developing subacute bacterial Endocarditis includes patients with a history of Mitral Valve Prolapse with Regurgitation. The question of whether flossing will cause sufficient bleeding to warrant taking antibiotics prophylaxis is not clear. My suggestion is if flossing is done carefully without causing bleeding then the risk is small of infection. Otherwise defer frequent flossing until cleaning is done every 3 months with pre-medication by a Dental Hygienist.

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Response by:

Abdel Rahim   Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD Abdel Rahim Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD
Clinical Professor of Geriatrics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University