Here, we’ll take a look at some of the symptoms, causes and risks related to endocarditis.
Endocarditis is caused when bacteria, fungi, or other germs enter the bloodstream and then attack the diseased or damaged areas of the heart. Bacteria or other germs enter the bloodstream from a variety of sources, including poor dental hygiene, gum disease, brushing teeth, or dental procedures that cut the gum.
Sometimes, endocarditis can be caused by the use of contaminated needles used in body piercing and tattoos, or by IV drug users. It’s also possible for bacteria to enter the bloodstream through medical procedures such as the use of a catheter.
Certain diseases, such as sexually transmitted diseases, or inflammatory bowel disease, may also provide an avenue for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and make its way to the heart.
Endocarditis generally occurs where hearts are already diseased or damaged.