Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

Should You Share Your Medical History With Your Dentist?

Visiting the dentist for the very first time may be a harrowing experience for many people. In most cases, it involves the dentist asking you quite a number of questions including those regarding your lifestyle and medical history. While this may seem like an invasion of your privacy, the truth is that it is very important for your overall health.

So why should you share your medical history with your dentist?

Diseases as Risk Factors

Through research, it has been discovered that various diseases or health conditions can affect your dental health. For instance, people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease. In addition, patients who have had knee or hip replacements should undergo antibiotic prophylaxis before any dental treatment. This is done to prevent harmful bacteria from entering your blood which may affect the new joint, putting it at a risk of failure.

Further studies discovered that people with gum disease have a higher risk of suffering from heart disease as compared to those with strong, healthy gums. It's even theorised that gum disease contributes to the development of heart disease as the bacteria from the mouth can travel to the heart, through the bloodstream, and leave fatty deposits, leading to blood clots.

Medications as Risk Factors

On your initial visit to your dentist, you may be provided with a questionnaire where you're required to fill many general questions regarding your health such as recent surgeries, pregnancy, and allergies among other details. In other cases, the questionnaire may require that you provide a list of the current medications you may be taking, whether prescribed or over the counter. This helps the dentist to know the ideal approach to use for your treatment.

Failure to offer such crucial information may indeed complicate a simple procedure such tooth removal and perhaps pose more dangers to a patient's overall health. In other cases, a failure to inform the dentist that you're using blood thinners can make the entire procedure more complicated especially considering that oral extractions and blood thinners are not supposed to mix. In such instances, the dentist will advise you on how to go about the treatment process.

You realise that your current medication could be the cause of your toothache and other teeth problems. Therefore, by choosing to keep this vital information to yourself, you could be misleading your dentist who will, as a result, fail to identify the actual source of your problem.