Your Medical History: Why we need to know

Did you ever wonder why, at each dental cleaning appointment, we ask if there have been any changes to your medical history? You may not think that your medical history is important to your dental care, but it is! Many medical conditions and the medications used to treat them, affect your mouth and gums. Providing us with an accurate and updated medical history will help us identify any condition and/or medication that can interfere with dental treatment. This information also helps us to provide individual patient education that can benefit you. According to the “Dentist on the Web”, here are some examples why your medical history is so important…….

Dry Mouth: Many medications for high blood pressure, allergies and depression can cause dry mouth, which in turn, increases bacteria in the mouth and your risk for cavities.

Diabetes causes an increase in bleeding and inflammation of the gums, putting you at higher risk for periodontal disease.

Osteoporosis: Medications used to treat Osteoporosis can create jaw problems following tooth loss.

Alcohol: Consuming 3 or more drinks per day may increase your risk for oral cancer.

Diet: If you are on a soft diet, or special caloric diet that includes large amounts of carbohydrates or sugar, you can be at a higher risk for cavities.

Joint Replacement: Antibiotics need to be taken before dental treatment to avoid infection of the heart.

Heart Disease: Antibiotics may be required before certain treatment. In some cases routine dental care is suspended until the heart condition is stabilized.

Rheumatic Fever: Antibiotics may have to be taken before certain dental treatment to avoid infection of the heart

Chemotherapy: If you actively receiving treatment, you must get the OK from your doctor to receive any invasive treatment

Radiation: Flouride treatments are available if your physician feels it would be beneficial.

Birth Control Pills: It is important to let us know if you take them, as antibiotics can cause them to be less effective.

In closing, please be sure and let the dentist/hygienist know of any changes to your medical history so that we can provide you with best possible care.