Significance of oral health in adult patients with congenital heart disease
Due to improved diagnosis and treatment life expectancy of patients with congenital heart disease is steadily increasing resulting in a growing portion of adult patients. When entering, adulthood patients commonly show a shift in their specific needs for medical care. Since the treatment is mostly not curative many patients have life-long cardiovascular anomalies, among others, entailing high risk for the development of infective endocarditis. Several oral diseases, i.e., caries, apical periodontitis and periodontitis show a very high overall prevalence. These entities are primarily initiated by bacterial infections. Hence, they cause an inherent risk for bacteremia and subsequently for infective endocarditis in patients with congenital heart disease during professional dental care and various daily activities. Conversely congenital heart disease seems to be inevitably associated with considerable impairment of oral health resulting in a tight interrelation between both entities. Different preventive strategies are available to address the elevated risk for infective endocarditis due to oral diseases in patients with congenital heart disease during professional dental care and routine daily activities. This review delineates the current evidence regarding the issue of oral health in adult patients with congenital heart disease.