August 14, 2013

Understanding Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between the heart's left upper chamber (atrium) and left lower chamber (ventricle) doesn't close properly.  MVP is considered a disorder, and many people with it don't even have symptoms.  It lasts for a lifetime but usually doesn't require any treatment or changes in lifestyle.  Symptoms can vary (an irregular heartbeat, lightheadedness, fatigue) and tend to be mild.  In some patients, a complication is regurgitation--a condition in which the valve leaks blood back into the atrium.  This can be heard with a stethescope.  It used to be recommended that some people with MVP or regurgitation take antibiotics before dental procedures to prevent bacterial endocarditis, but not anymore.  If you've been told to take antibiotics in the past, check with your doctor whether that's still necessary. 

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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