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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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I am getting an echo, Is that heart Murmur ?

I went to a DMD the other day to have a consult about my wisdom teeth and because having them taken out is minor surgery, he had to check my heart and said I had a heart murmur. I am 15 and until yesterday no one had noticed anything. not even my PCP. I had a physical last week and he said everything was fine. Is it odd that people are just starting to notice that I have it or is it just a random event ? I am getting an echo tomorrow to make sure that it is nothing big. I m not too concerned though.
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
There are many different kinds of murmurs. most of which don't cause any problems. The dentist was looking out for one particular variety caused by a mitral valve prolapse. This particular kind of murmur is caused by the a leaky valve between your left atrium and ventrical, and is sometimes hard to hear. If you have a very mild prolapse, or leaky valve, it may not even always be present for a doctor to hear. Other murmurs seem to be just the noise made when the heart works, and nobody really knows why. You echo will detect if there is some defect which causes the murmur and the extent of the defect if present. If it is really mild, then likely the dentist will just want to have you take antibiotics prior to the surgery and monitor your heart during the procedure. Even if they find a prolapse, as it hasn't caused you any problems so far, it isn't likely to in future. A lot of folks with MVP don't realize it until a dentist or student doctor with exceptionally keen hearing detects the click. Even then, others won't hear it at all. If you have one, it will need to be monitored periodically, but your GP will tell you how often. Usually it's a once a year or every other year listen and sometimes either an echo or 24 hour monitoring. Nothing to get too worked up about either way. Your dentist is just being cautious on the good side. Sign of a good conscientous dentist.
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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