Important things to mention regarding your Medical History
When you’ve been at the dentist have you ever been asked a question that doesn’t have anything to do with your teeth? Or maybe you’ve not mentioned a medication or condition to your dentist because it didn’t seem related? Keep reading or click here to watch a short video of Dr Joshua Dunn discussing why your medical history is important to your dentist.
“Over 600 different medications have the potential to cause dry mouth”.
If you fail to mention your medication, medical conditions and previous medical history, then there can be an increased:
Risk of complications during treatment
Risk of poor health outcome after treatment
Difficulty in diagnosis of your dental condition
Chance of your oral health deteriorating
Sharing your medical history with your dentist can help them deliver the best care for you. If you mention everything, it will make your dental experience safe and straight-forward as there is:
A decreased likelihood of complications during or after dental treatment
An opportunity for your dentist to paint a complete clinical picture of your health and lifestyle, helping them assist you to optimum oral and general health
A greater chance of your dentist diagnosing other health conditions and referring you to appropriate specialists
Don’t forget, you can trust that everything you tell your dentist is completely private and confidential under strict guidelines from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
“It’s so important to be comfortable and open with your dentist or oral health therapist so they don’t overlook something that could be significant to your health or potentially life threatening.”
Keep reading to learn five of the most common things that people forget to mention to their dentist. Knowing these could completely change the way you discuss your health while at the dentist.
An estimated 250 000 Australians are taking some form of blood thinner. Although this may seem obvious, many people actually forget to mention it. If your dentist is aware of your blood thinners, treatments that may cause bleeding can be avoided or managed appropriately. It is important that you take your blood thinners as normal before coming to the dentist.
Artificial joints or valves
In Australia there is almost 100 000 knee/hip replacement surgeries every single year. It is important for your dentist to know if you’ve had a joint or valve replacement or if you’re scheduled to have one in the future, as there is an increased chance of infection around these prosthetics.
Illness as a child
Although it may seem like ancient history to some, it is important to mention any significant illnesses that you may have suffered from as a child such as whooping cough, rheumatic fever or birth defects of the heart. Knowing this may help your dentist diagnose tooth defects or affect the way you’re managed in order to avoid infections.
1 in 10 Australians take antidepressants for mental health disorders. These drugs commonly cause dry mouth and can lead to an increased chance of tooth decay. It can also be difficult to be motivated in good oral hygiene practice. If your dentist is aware of this, they can take steps to give you extra protection and tools to maintain a healthy mouth.
1 in 4 men and 2 in 5 women in Australia suffer from osteoporosis. It is important to mention this as well as any treatment you are receiving for it. Modern treatments are great for maintaining bone density but can sometimes affect healing of your jawbone and lead to infection. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment can also affect the jawbone and should be mentioned.
This list doesn’t cover everything that should be discussed with your dentist so if you’re not sure, mention it! Nobody knows your health better than you do so it’s vital you tell us anything and everything to do with your health.