There are cases where children who get a persistent fever during children eventually develop heart valve disease. Rheumatic fever can be the cause of the heart valve disease due to the bacteria Streptococcus A which infects the throat.
Symptoms such as:
- constant fatigue
- shortness of breath
- water collecting around the ankles
- being unable to breathe properly while lying down
- liver congestion
A person by the name of Chris wrote to the local paper to share about his experience of having ineffective endocarditis (IE) with indication of mitral regurgitation. In the past, Chris had neglected to visit the dentist for years. As the result, the Streptococcus bacteria entered through a dental cavity (that has build up plague) and infected his heart valve. He then suffered from persistent fever for weeks and was on intravenous treatment of penicillin for 6 weeks. He had to undergo open heart surgery to repair the mitral valve.
He cautioned that this disease can often be masked as stress, being unfit or having a poor diet because of its main signs- shortness of breath and constant fatigue. When he consulted a cardiologist, a heart murmur was detected- he was told that had he been oblivious to this condition, he could just die of a sudden heart failure.
Real life incident like this reminds us that we should not neglect regular dental check-ups (at least once every 6 months). It would well be something that can save our lives.
Sources (do note both the links no longer work):
- Check your teeth, too (The Star, Fit4life, 1 Nov 09)
- My valves are not working (The Star, Fit4life, 25 Oct 09)