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Why Your Dentist Needs To Know Your Medical History

     Like any medical practitioner, your dentist needs to know your complete medical history prior to treating you. He uses medications, such as anesthesia and numbing agents, when treating you that may be impacted by a medication your are taking or an allergy.

During your first visit he will ask you to provide a complete medical history. Fill it out thoroughly. In fact, better too much information than too little. Even if a condition seems minor to you, you should let your dentist about it. This is true also of any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications. Aspirin, for instance, thins the blood and can cause excessive bleeding. He also needs to know of possible drug interactions.

Other Conditions Your Dentist Should Know About

If you are a recovering alcoholic or drug addict you need to let your dentist know. Often he administers or prescribes pain medications that could have an adverse impact on your continued sobriety. Also, certain medications you may be taking could cause bleeding. In addition, some medications may cause a dry mouth condition that could contribute to or exacerbate gum disease. Heart conditions are another concern. Knowing about these may affect what, and how much, he chooses to give you in the way of anesthesia.

If you take medication for osteoporosis it could contribute to tooth loss or jaw problems due to a wearing down of the jaw bone beneath your teeth. He especially needs to consider this if he is planning on doing any implants or dentures. He also needs to know if your are pregnant or nursing as each of these conditions will affect what he chooses to prescribe or what anesthesia, if any, he will use. He may even advise postponing certain treatments until after your pregnancy.

Another condition that is important for your dentist to know about is diabetes. Diabetics tend to be more prone to infection and thus vulnerable to periodontal disease. They also have tendency toward excessive bleeding and heal more slowly.

Do you take blood pressure medication? Again, let your dentist know in advance.

Sometimes the side effects of such medications impact oral health or may adversely interact with other medications the dentist may use. This can be true for any medication, so be thorough in your health history form and let your dentist be the one to decide what is important and what is not.

Allergies, smoking and drinking - all this is information your dentist needs to know. Are you prone to fainting (also referred to as syncope)? This is not an uncommon occurrence, especially with older patients. But it could become a much more serious matter if it happens in a dental office when your mouth is full of equipment or dental paraphernalia. However, if your dentist knows in advance that this is a possibility, he can be prepared for such a possibility and plan accordingly.

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It is important to find a dentist with whom you are comfortable and develop an ongoing relationship so he is aware of your individual needs. So, don't hold back. The more your dentist knows about you, the better equipped he is to give you the proper treatment. If you would like more information about finding the right dentist for you, visit

Posted on 2014-04-04, By: *

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