Dental Tips Blog

May
9

Why Does My Dentist Need to Know My Health History?

Have you ever wondered just why it was that your dentist’s office asked you so many questions about your health history at your routine dental exams? Perhaps you’ve even thought about not disclosing information because you feel it isn’t applicable to your dental treatment. In reality, comprehensive dental care also revolves around systemic health conditions. Different illnesses may predispose you to dental problems, or be a contraindication for dental care.  For instance, joint replacement, heart surgeries or latex allergies have the potential to cause severe adverse reactions.

Particular medications may cause anomalies in the mouth, such as bleeding, overgrowth of gum tissue, or xerostomia. Some medications like albuteral inhalers also increase your risk for developing tooth decay, so your dentist may want to place you on a supplemental fluoride to use at home. Even the use of tobacco products can mask the major clinical symptoms of severe gum disease, requiring other types of screening to detect bone loss.

All health history information shared with your dental provider is confidential. Communicable diseases are no exception to the rule, and should be disclosed so that your provider can better tailor your care to address side effects or challenges that particular diseases pose. Patients with diseases such as cancer or diabetes need to know their current levels, so that your dental care provider can determine what level of treatment is appropriate for your safety. Failing to disclose a condition like uncontrolled diabetes may set you up for failure of dental prosthesis like dental implants, which are typically a large financial investment for the patient.

Dentists often detect diseases that have nothing to do with your dental health, simply due to your symptoms, oral signs, and your health history. The more information your dentist has, the more comprehensive the care they can provide.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts

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