Causes of Endocarditis

The main cause of Endocarditis is the entry of microorganisms from other parts of your body, into the heart, after they travel through the bloodstream. However, these organisms only attach themselves to those tissues or valves that are damaged. This condition is usually a result of a bacterial infection. However, fungi or other microorganisms could also be one of the causes of Endocarditis. The disease causing organisms can enter the bloodstream by:

  • Daily Activities: Simple activities like brushing your teeth or eating can cause the germs to spread. This mainly happens in case the teeth or the gums are in a poor condition.
  • Syringes and Catheters: Contaminated injections or tubes used to remove fluid from the body could spread germs in the circulatory system. Needles used for tattoos and body piercing could also have the same effect on the body.
  • Dental Procedures: A cut on your gums incurred during a dental procedure could allow the bacteria in the mouth to enter your bloodstream.
  • Infections: Gum diseases, sexually transmitted diseases or intestinal disorders usually give bacteria, viruses and germs to gain entry into the bloodstream.

It is not always possible for health experts to identify the factors that lead to Endocarditis in an individual.

Risk Factors of Endocarditis

Since the Endocarditis causing germs only attach themselves to the damaged tissues and valves of the heart, you are not likely to get infected, if your heart is in good condition. Given below are some of the common risk factors of Endocarditis:

  • The presence of artificial heart valves, especially within the first year of implantation.
  • Congenital heart defects that a person is born with.
  • Medical conditions like rheumatic fever, which can scar the heart valves or damage them.
  • Injecting illegal drugs into the body.

To know if you are at a high risk of developing Endocarditis, you need to consult a doctor.