Dentist apologies for maybe a repeated ques... - AF Association

AF Association

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Dentist apologies for maybe a repeated question....


Hi all, I know we’ve had loads of posts in dentist, I’ve just been first tim since my AFib started two years ago....she said I must take two antibiotics an hour before I go fir cleaning as the bacteria if it escapes can affect my heart. I never knew this, is this normal?

Also she said it may well bleed, I take it in Apixaban I’m ok and don’t need to stop it?


28 Replies

Interesting about the antibiotic before cleaning which I have never heard of but...I was diagnosed with AF in April 2018 & I do have gingivitis so I have regular 3 monthly scale & polish with a private dentist.Now due to Covid I had to go 7 months without a scale & my gums were very inflamed so back in July after that visit I had an AF episode 3 days later & that was my first episode in 27 months after diagnosis which made me ponder about the bacteria getting into my bloodstream & indeed upsetting my heart.

My follow up scale & polish was October & all was calm after that appointment but my gums were nowhere near as inflamed on that occasion.

Also the July appointment was my first after starting Apixaban in January & my goodness there was quite a bit of blood but again the October appointment was not as bad I’m pleased to say.

No AF at all since July 🤞

Morzine in reply to TamlaMotown

Maybe ask before next time, I’ve a feeling it is a wise precaution....I’d never heard of it till today but I’ve started reading it up on internet tooSue

Try taking Co enzyme Q 10 . As well as being a heart supplement this also promotes gum health.

Thank you Auriculaire, would you have any recommendations as I have looked at it but it's a bit of a minefield

It is better to take Ubiquinol if you are over 50 as this is a more active form . Unfortunately it is also more expensive! As I live in France I buy mine on so I don't know what is available in UK shops like Boots or Holland and Barrett. I have taken it for years and used to buy it in Boots when we lived in UK. Usual doses are 100mg or 200mg.

Many thanks, much appreciated. I'll take another look

carneuny in reply to TamlaMotown

Hi,I buy from an independant Gloucestershire outlet ..... Brand is Pharma Nord, Bio-QuinoneActive Q10 ( Gold) 100mg in 60's price about £37.95 per box of 60. This was advised for me arising from my consultations with a Nutritionist.


TamlaMotown in reply to carneuny

Thank you John 🙂

Its a long time since I was working as a dental assistant but we always prescribed antibiotics to heart patients prior to a scale and polish.

Just had scale and polish. Nobody mentioned antibiotics and never have. Take Dabigatran but no bleeding either. Di

Morzine in reply to Hylda

It’s strange there’s a variation of advice, did dentist know u have af

Hylda in reply to Morzine

Yes I have to reel of a medication list at each visit.


Not ever been asked to do this but yes poor dental hygiene can cause serious heart problems. Some bacteria can go straight from gum to heart resulting in endocarditis, infection of the heart.

Back in about 2008 when in Royal Brompton for an ablation a young chap in the bed opposite had endocarditis as a result of a botched wisdom tooth extraction. I used to visit him whenever I was up for out patients appointments as he was there for about six months.

I always tell those here who complain about anticoagulants causing gum bleeding to go get their gums fixed asap but doubt they take notice. Always easy to blame anticoags!

Morzine in reply to BobD

Yes bob, I’ve a gum infection,which I neglected as I thought dentist was shut in lockdown here in France, I’m sure they were last time. it was only going to pharmacie for advice that she said they were open, and I must use this prescribed mouthwash stuff then two tablets of antibiotics two hours before I go into her.She said it was dangerous not to with af.


BobDVolunteer in reply to Morzine

Don't worry I'm on amoxicillin myself for a root infection caused by receeding gums and my last hygienist appointment was less than a month ago.. That and warm salt water mouthwash. Going to mess up my INR I expect!

Morzine in reply to BobD

Snap. Amocillin and receding gums!

BobDVolunteer in reply to Morzine

Now you know why we are all long in the tooth.

Morzine in reply to BobD


Oldiemoldy in reply to BobD

It is an unfortunate side effect of antibiotics that they can bring in clostridium dificile, commonly known as C-dif. By killing off good gut bacteria, use of antibiotics can allow evil toxins in the gut to triumph. C- dif is serious - with fever and persistent diarrhea and pain. I got it after a dentist prescribed antibiotics after a root canal and I was just 62 then.

C- dif is hard to treat and fecal transplant is becoming the preferred because of ineffectiveness of most other treatments.

If you do take the antibiotics, doctors often recommend you also take probiotics to shore up your “good” gut bacteria.

I've had P/A/F for over 20 years and been to the dentist many times and never heard of that. I have non adrenalin injections and for extraction told not to take my blood thinning agent for 24 hours but apart from that nothing else.

In the newspaper this weekend there was an article on if dentists should give antibiotics, NICE apparently had decreed that they shouldn’t use them preventatively, this was awhile back but after some results showed that people were getting their hearts affected, they have recently changed their view and said anyone who is vunerable should be given them as a precaution. The trouble is most dentists are not up to date with this info.If there is a mouth infection it can get into the blood stream and ends up affecting the valves in the heart, it is often slight probs with the valves that can sometimes be the cause of AF.

Morzine in reply to Fruitcake100

That’s what the centrist said, if the gums bleed during cleaning because I had had infection it could get into bloodstream.Sue

If one of them is a Fluoroquinolone ie Cipro, Tavanic I would not take it for anything. Find out which antibiotics . Does she recommend this practice for everybody?

Morzine in reply to Auriculaire

Two amocillan an hour befire the cleaning, it’s cos of arythmia. I’ve now read in internet it’s generally accepted it’s a precaution.....

Auriculaire in reply to Morzine

They are fine.

Gingivitis is associated with AF. It's also associated with Alzheimer's. They're both inflammatory conditions. So dental hygiene is really important I guess your hygienist has given you the third degree. To avoid her wrath my routine has stepped up over the years to 2 mins with an electric toothbrush twice a day. Tepe brushes on those teeth that are accessible. Dental flossing on ALL teeth (that's a new one, I used to just floss my back teeth) and smearing a bit of toothpaste on one or two areas which could do with a bit of build up of enamel.

I have to say I think my teeth are in good condition. I have no bleeding gums and have not lost any teeth nor had any extensive treatment such as root canal. I doubt that'll satisfy her though, but that's women for you! 😁

I have never been asked to take antibiotics but my Canadian friend always has to, she had a heart valve replacement some years ago. I have had various infections (and extractions) and after the last infection I started adding Corsydil toothpaste to my tepe and I haven't had an infection since. It tastes so horrible I can't bring myself to brush with it.

I fear what goes round comes round. My husband who has had aortic incompetence for years always used to be given a 1gm sachet of amoxycillin prior to hygienist visits. In the last ten years ( at least) it has been deemed unnecessary. ( mind you he's only got 7 teeth now!!)I agree that antibiotics are a mixed blessing as they bugger up your gut microbiome good and proper. research is a wonderful thing

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