Why Does Your Dentist Want to Know Your Medical History?

Your medical history plays a role in your dental care.

Why all the info?

When it comes to giving your health history to doctors, it’s not uncommon. When you go to a doctor for the first time, it’s completely normal to arrive early so you have extra time to fill out countless forms about your family’s medical history. It’s tedious, but expected. But, why is it something you have to deal with when you go to a new dentist? After all, they deal with teeth. Why would they need to know everything else?

Though it might seem unusual to some, it’s important to remember that one part of our body affects the other. What we eat, drink, and do can make a difference to our oral health. The same is true for medications and health issues.

Understanding the Connection Between Overall Health and Oral Health

All of the paperwork and the questions can feel excessive at times, but it truly is just to keep you safe and your smile healthy.

When understanding why a dentist would need your medical history, it’s important to remember one thing—the entire body is connected. This fact might go a little deeper than you realize. Sure, everyone knows the arm is connected to your torso, and the spine is connected to the neck, but it doesn’t end there. If you’ve had a procedure in the past, it could affect your oral health. The medications you take impact every inch of your body, which, in turn, affects your gums and teeth.

Think about the side effects listed on the bottles of different medications. Many of them have “dry mouth” right at the top. If your dentist knows you take a medication that causes dry mouth, it can be much easier to prevent issues that arise from it.

Specific Medical Conditions That Impact Dental Care

Certain health conditions can directly impact both your dental care and any dental procedures you might have. Diabetes can increase your chances of getting gum disease and even tooth loss. To help keep you safe, it’s important to tell your dentist if you have any other conditions. Doing so might just help them watch out for your long-term oral health.

When it comes to autoimmune diseases, you might be surprised to find that many of them start to show in the mouth first. Sometimes this can be through dry mouth, other times it can be through ulcers. As you can imagine, letting your dentist know of any preexisting conditions can set you up for success! They will be able to help you manage any symptoms that might arise, or prevent them altogether.

What about pregnancy? Do you need to let your dentist know if you’re pregnant? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Pregnancy does a lot to the body. Due to the increased blood flow, gingivitis is incredibly common. Gum disease is also more prevalent in pregnant women, and morning sickness can do a number on the enamel!

Remember, your dentist asks you if there are any changes to your medical history to keep you safe, not to judge you. It’s completely normal for your medical history to change as you age, and we want to keep your teeth healthy throughout it all!

Medications and Dental Procedures

Ensuring your dentist has an accurate list of your medications can help them in more ways than you might think. If the staff is aware of your current medications, they might just have ways to help you avoid some of those pesky side effects.

The importance of your dental team knowing your current medications only increases if you have an upcoming procedure. Certain medications can react poorly with the antiseptics or even with the anesthesia used. If you are on any medication that might create problems, it might be wise to adjust your treatment plan.

They’re on your side!

If you ever find yourself wondering if you should alert your dentist to anything in your medical history, remember it never hurts to start up that conversation. It’s better to share an accurate medical history so they can help keep you and your family safe and healthy.

Remember, your dentist just wants to work with you! They aren’t asking so many questions to butt in on your life or drive you insane. They just want to make sure they can keep you safe.

So, whether you are new to Compass Dental Group, or are a returning patient, don’t feel awkward about sharing your medical history. We’re here to help you smile for a lifetime! When you are ready to book your next appointment, whether for a procedure or a cleaning, know we’re on your side every step of the way.