Top 4 Medical Conditions To Alert Your Dentist About

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When first visiting a new dentist, patients will often be handed a stack of papers to fill out before treatment can begin. Though it may be tempting to rush through these seemingly endless forms and fill in the blank spaces, it is important for your health that you pay attention and answer thoughtfully. The answers you give on this form and in follow-up visits will shape your dental care experience. These answers help your dentist choose care options that are safe in combination with the rest of your lifestyle. Here are the top four medical conditions your dentist will need to know about you in order to provide the best level of care.

1. Osteoporosis Drugs

If you are taking drugs or supplements for the treatment of osteoporosis, your dentist will need to know. These drugs can sometimes cause jaw problems in patients or tooth loss following an extraction. These are definitely both things your dentist will want to be aware of so that he or she can make accommodations to give you the best care possible.

2. Blood Pressure Medication

Certain medicines used to treat high blood pressure can have oral effects, and gum disease may trigger heart attack and stroke. If you have cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure problems, it will let your dentist know to be proactive about treating and preventing gum disease and inflammation that can trigger further cardiovascular complications. If you have a family or personal history of cardiovascular problems or stroke, you should keep your gums as healthy as possible so as not to add to your risk factors.

3. Alcohol

If you consume alcohol frequently, you may be at a higher risk for certain types of oral cancer. Your dentist will need to know about this so they can monitor your situation closely and intercede at the earliest signs of a problem.

4. Diabetes

Diabetes can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease and make it more difficult to treat. Often, dentists are the first to notice signs of diabetes in patients that exhibit symptoms such as frequent gum abscesses, swelling, bone loss, and gum disease that doesn't respond well to traditional treatment. If the dentists notice these symptoms in a patient who has not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, he or she will refer the patient to their primary care doctor for testing. Dentists and doctors can work together in the treatment and control of diabetes.

You, of course, are used to talking about the above four conditions with your doctor. As you can now see, it's equally important to alert your dentist, especially since they won't have immediate access to your medical history. If you feel you may not relay the proper information, ask your doctor for a printout of your medical history so you can give it to your dentist on your next appointment. For more information, contact a professional such as Dr. Sudharani V Chary.