The mouth is a possible source of infection in patients receiving prosthetic heart valves. In this study, the dental health of such patients was found to be very poor. Whilst most of the patients were asymptomatic, only two were dentally fit and 65% required the extraction of one or more teeth. On average, patients had not attended a dental practice for more than 9 years. This level of dental neglect, in a group of patients particularly at risk, is alarming and this study indicates that a higher standard of oral care is still required and that a lack of symptoms does not indicate dental fitness.
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