Endocarditis: Decrease the risk by boosting immune system and improving oral hygiene

Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart, known as endocardium. It usually occurs when bacterias enter the cardiac muscle through the bloodstream, while damaging the heart valves, along the way.

Although these bacterias can originate from multiple sources, including flesh wound, they are most often coming from the oral cavity. Gum disease is the leading cause of endocarditis


Besides poor oral hygiene and gum disease, other possible causes may include:

  • Skin infection
  • Intestinal disorder
  • Weak immune system
  • Fungal infection such as Candida

Infection of the heart muscle rarely occurs in healthy individuals. Bacterias usually attach to the rough surface such as on to the damaged heart tissue.

Also, invading bacterias are often destroyed by the immune system or they pass through without causing an infection, if the cardiac muscle and heart valves aren't damaged.


There are several factors that can increase the risk of infection such as:

  • Certain heart defects
  • Heart transplant surgery
  • Abnormal or damaged heart valve
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Kidney failure
  • Use of unsterilized needles or catheter
  • Past history of endocarditis
  • Dental surgeries
  • Other surgeries and minor procedures which can damage the tissue through which bacterias can enter the bloodstream


First symptoms are very similar to the common flu. In most cases, it develops slowly, over two weeks. However, if powerful bacterias are behind it or you have underlying condition, the symptoms can appear within a few days. They can include:

  • Fever, chills and paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Heart murmur
  • Night sweats
  • Pain in joints and muscles
  • Bleeding under the fingernails or blood in the urine
  • Tiny purple and red spots under the skin, know as Petechiae
  • Enlarged spleen, swelling in arms or legs

If left untreated, bacterias that cause endocarditis can grow on the damaged tissue which can prevent heart valves from opening and closing properly.

Blood can start leaking  backwards, instead of being pumped forward thereby interrupting normal blood flow, while interfering with heart's pumping function.


The doctors will make assumptions based on the physical exam, medical history and your statements. If heart infection is suspected, additional tests can be performed, such as:

  • Blood test to check for bacterias in the bloodstream
  • Echocardiogram to check that heart valves are opening and closing properly
  • Chest X-ray to see if the heart has enlarged or the infection has spread to the lungs
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate electrical activity of the heart
  • CT or MRI if the doctor suspects that infection has spread to other areas of the body, including the brain


Endocarditis is usually treated with antibiotics which can be administered intravenously or by IV. However, if bacterias have severely damaged heart valves, infection is caused by a fungus or you have an artificial heart valve, surgery may be required. 


If left untreated, disease may lead to permanent heart damage, excessive formation of blood clots, heart attack, arrhythmia, heart failure and even death.

Besides heart related problems, if the infection spreads, it may cause renal failure, stroke or lead to formation of abscesses in the lungs, kidneys, brain as well as the heart which can cause further complications.

An acquaintance of mine suffered from serious case of endocarditis because of which he got down to 110 lbs (50 kg) and almost died. However, he got through it and to my knowledge, doesn't has serious repercussions.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
Heart Healthy Diet: Simple Tips and Guidelines
Learn everything you need to know about heart healthy diet and find the right one for you. Implement few simple tips for immediate benefits.
Heart Healthy Foods: How to Get the Most from Them
Heart healthy foods can improve cardiovascular system function. Foods good for the heart are bursting with vitamins, minerals and rejuvenating phytochemicals.
Herbs for the Heart and Cardiovascular System
You have heard for hawthorn and garlic but there are few other herbs for the heart which can help in treating heart disease, naturally.
The Best Heart Health Supplements
Besides fish oil, there are several heart health supplements which can be useful. This includes Coenzyme Q10, Salicin, vitamin D3 and few others.
Heart Healthy Spices
Although there are many heart healthy spices out there, each of them can help prevent and treat heart disease in its own way, thanks to different types of flavonoids in these heart spices.
Stress and Heart Disease: How are They Connected
Stress and heart disease are closely related. In order to decrease the risk of heart problems, we have to learn how to handle the stress and treat its consequences, if we are unable to avoid it.
Cardio Exercises for the Heart and Cardiovascular System
Cardio exercises are vital part of natural heart disease treatment. However, which kind of heart exercise you should preform, varies from person to person.
Good vs Bad Cholesterol: How to Improve Cholesterol Values
Good vs bad cholesterol conflict is somewhat misunderstood. There is no good or bad cholesterol but only high or unbalanced cholesterol.
Good Fats vs Bad Fats: Nutritional Facts and Guidelines
What is the real truth when it comes to good fats vs bad fats? How much dietary fats should you consume daily and what are the best food sources of healthy fats?
High Blood Pressure Remedies
High blood pressure remedies range from tips and lifestyle modification to herbs and supplements. However, the method that works for someone else, may not work for you.
Normal Heart Rate: How is Regulated and Influential Factors
Normal heart rate varies from person to person. Although, age affects resting heart rate, there are many other factors that can raise or decrease heart rate.
How to Lose Fat: Overlooked Tips for Weight Loss
How to lose fat is surely one of the most intriguing questions for so many people. However, the answer is very simple. Eat healthy foods, perform fat burning exercises and take care of your hormones.
Hormones and Heart Disease Connection
Don't neglect hormones and heart disease connection. If you want to treat or prevent heart disease you have to balance your hormones.
Heart Disease and Immune System Connection
Heart disease and immune system connection is often overlooked, while trying to improve cardiovascular system function. However, there are several things you can do to change this.
Dental Health Heart Disease Connection: Facts and Tips
Dental health heart disease connection is one of three overlooked factors, along with hormones and immune system. However, with smart and effective approach we can change this.
Causes of Heart Disease
There are many causes of heart disease and factors that can increase or decrease your risk for developing heart related problems. Check how to turn the tide in your favour.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
There are few main symptoms of heart disease. Find out which are they, how to recognize them as well as my personal experience with some of them.
Diagnosis of Heart Disease
Accurate diagnosis of heart disease is the first step toward recovery. You can't start with treatment before you know what kind of disease you have, obviously.
Treatment for Heart Disease: Medications and Surgeries
Standard treatment for heart disease consists of surgeries, medications and devices. Which one is right for you, depends on your condition.
Heart Disease Blog
This is a blog about natural remedies, personal stories, helpful herbs and supplements, workout program as well as other tips and facts which may help people faced with heart disease.
Contact Me
Ask questions and leave comments about this site here.
About the Author of Heart Health Guide
About the author of Heart-health-guide.com website.
Heart Health Guide Sitemap
This is sitemap of Heart Health Guide.com. If you want to get better overview of informations on this website, you can get it here.

Copyright © - Heart Health Guide - All Rights Reserved.

About Author | Privacy Policy| Disclaimer / Disclosure | Contact

Custom Search

Herbal Immune System Booster

Adaptogens and Superfoods for Healthy Gums