Endocarditis covers a huge range of our lifestyle choices, from piercings, tattoos even brushing our teeth!

Endocarditis is caused by bacteria in the bloodstream multiplying and spreading across the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). The endocardium becomes inflamed, causing damage to your heart valves. It is a serious condition which usually requires 6-8 weeks in hospital with antibiotics.  Some people also require surgery.  For a small amount of people, it can be fatal. Anyone with a congenital heart defect has a greater chance of developing endocarditis. It is not possible to prevent all bacteria from getting into the bloodstream, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of endocarditis.

  • Keep your teeth clean and attend regular dental checkups. (Most people no longer require antibiotic cover for routine dental work.)
  • Avoid tattoos.
  • Avoid piercings.