What are five major causes of congenital heart defects?
Describe the risks and considerations when providing dental
care to persons with congenital heart defects.
What are some causes of congenital heart
Viruses: for example, rubella (German
measles), during pregnancy
Medications: some types of prescription
and over the counter medications
Alcohol (or street drugs): consumed during
Chronic illness: in mother
Genetics: important to note that one-third
of children with Down Syndrome have congenital heart defects
Treatment of congenital heart defects and dental
Surgical repairs often allow patients with heart defects to
live normal or near-normal lives.
Children and adults with certain defects, even after surgical
repair, remain at increased risk of infection involving the heart and
Antibiotics are often indicated prior to dental treatment to
reduce risk of bacterial endocarditis. (See Dajani AS, et al. Prevention of bacterial endocarditis.
Recommendations by the American Heart Association. Circulation. 1997
Jul 1;96(1):358-66 for the American Heart Asoociation's
Consultation with the patient’s physician is recommended.