Why Should I Inform My Dentist About My Medical History?

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Did you know that only 48% of Australians over 15 visited a dentist during the past twelve months? Dental visits declined sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, visiting your dentist can be one of the first steps to catching chronic illnesses or improving your overall health. 

Have you asked, “what should I tell my dentist?” Instead of brushing your medical history under the rug, dentists need to know what current health issues and medications you are dealing with. 

Disclosing your health information is critical to how a dentist proceeds with cleanings, procedures, and even cosmetic treatments. To learn more, keep reading on and discover why your dentist is an important medical provider in your life!

Why Dentists Are Important Medical Providers

Dentists are medical providers that focus on your oral health. General family dentistry can even help you address issues like:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Sports guards
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Early signs of systemic diseases in the mouth
  • Early signs of oral cancer
  • And more

During oral care examinations, dentists check for several health issues, like cavities, gum disease, and more. Gum disease ranges in severity and often affects many adults at some point.

Mild cases start as gingivitis and involve minor redness or swelling of your gums. Yet, without treatment, advanced gum disease can cause issues with your cardiac health and worsen diabetic symptoms. 

What To Tell My Dentist

If you have ever had dental work or dental problems, ensure you tell the clinic before your appointment. Previous dental work includes:

  • Veneers
  • Extractions
  • Implants
  • Root canals
  • Braces
  • And more

It might also include treatments for TMJ disorders or jaw fractures. Along with previous dental work, you should disclose any relevant medical history. Why?

Your oral health is a telltale sign of other systemic conditions. For example, if you have diabetes, you may be more at risk for gum disease or infections that take longer to heal. 

Celiac disease is another excellent example highlighting the link between systemic and oral health conditions. Children with celiac disease will have poor enamel as their adult teeth emerge.

You may also notice patchy spots that are white, brown, or yellow. Dentists could be one of the first medical providers to recognise early signs of celiac disease and can advise on referral services moving forward.

Disclose Medication Lists

Lastly, there are several medications and conditions that may interact with a dental procedure. Ensure you provide a complete list of any medications you are currently taking and any health changes since your last check-up.

For instance, if you underwent surgery of your joints such as knees or hips recently, your dentist will likely advise waiting a couple of months before starting routine dental procedures.

Talking About Your Medical History

Have you wondered, “what should I tell my dentist?” Most patients don’t see them as medical providers. Yet, dentists are one of the first professionals that can catch debilitating illnesses.

They can better help you by fully understanding your medication and medical history. That way, they can adjust treatments, procedures, and medication as needed. 

Regularly visiting a dentist is the first step to overall health. If you’re ready to get started, visit our dental services and see what our professional team can do for you!