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Health History:Why your Dentist needs to know.

November 30, 2012

Filed under: News — elmbrookfamilydental @ 3:18 pm

Each of our patients fills out a health history to keep on file in our office. Often times patients do not disclose everything on these forms because they do not understand the significance. So, we want to set the record straight! Here are some things to consider while updating your health history at your next dental visit:

Did you know that sometimes diabetes first presents itself inside the mouth? Often times an expected and quick onset of gingivitis or periodontal disease can indicate to your dentist and hygienist that you may be diabetic. Dental professionals will then advise patients in this situation to see their medical doctor and have blood drawn to find out if they may be diabetic or not.

Artificial joints and certain heart conditions may require a patient to take an antibiotic prior to dental work in order to avoid an infection called ‘bacteremia’. Bacteremia can be caused by a disruption of normal oral bacteria being released into the blood and can cause complications in artificial joints or compromised cardiac health. Taking an antibiotic one hour prior to dental work prevents infection.

Vitamin deficiency can present in many ways inside the oral cavity as well. Angular Cheilitis can indicate a lack of Vitamin B in a patients diet. This presents as painful, dry cracking at the corners of the mouth. Lack of iron can cause a burning sensation on your tongue. Vitamin K aids in clotting and aids in faster healing.

Some herbal supplements can even interfere with dental anesthetics. The calming supplement called ‘Kava’ can strengthen the effects of a dental anesthetic.

So, before you leave any information out, think about what you may be risking. Providing a complete health history to your dental provider plays a critical role in allowing them to provide you with comprehensive, risk free dental care.

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