Have you ever wondered why your dentist wants you to fill out a medical history form before visits? Although it may seem like a nuisance, it’s actually an important part of your dental care that benefits both your oral health and overall health. It can be easy to think of the mouth and body as separate, but, in fact, they’re very much connected. In this blog, you’ll learn about 5 things to share with a family dentist in Brady before each visit to help them provide safe, high-quality dental care!
Many prescription medications affect your oral health, so it’s important to let your dentist know if you’ve had any changes or started taking something new.
One common side effect of many medications is dry mouth, which greatly increases the risk of cavities. If a dentist is aware that you take a prescription with this side effect, they can recommend measures to reduce your risk and protect your teeth.
2. Any Health Conditions Your Medical Doctor Has Diagnosed
To make sure you have a safe, positive experience in the dental chair, a dentist in Brady needs to know about any existing or new health conditions you’ve been diagnosed with.
Here are just a few examples of how your general health can affect your dental care:
- High blood pressure – A dentist can use a different type of anesthetic to avoid increasing your blood pressure further.
- Pacemaker – By knowing you have a pacemaker, a dental hygienist won’t use an ultrasonic tool to clean your teeth because it can disrupt your pacemaker.
- Diabetes – Diabetes has been found to increase your risk of gum disease, which is the #1 cause of tooth loss. Informing your dentist allows them to recommend any preventive measures that are necessary to maintain gum health.
Certain surgeries such as joint replacements require patients to take pre-medication, which is an antibiotic taken before dental visits to prevent bacterial infections and subsequent failure of the prosthetic joint.
4. Upcoming Trips
It’s not uncommon for a dentist to watch something that doesn’t need to be repaired quite yet, but will in the future such as an aging dental crown or filling.
If you’re going out of town, especially for long periods of time, be sure to let your dentist know so they can recommend any necessary treatment beforehand and prevent an emergency situation.
5. Any Sudden Changes In Your Mouth or Throat
You get a visual oral cancer screening at every checkup, but be sure to let your dentist know if you’ve noticed any changes such as a chronic sore throat or any sudden lumps, bumps or lesions. Although your mouth and throat will be closely examined, you know your body better than anyone.
With these 5 pieces of information, your dentist can help you maintain a healthy smile and great overall health for life – a win-win situation!
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie is a family dentist in Brady who has been in practice for over 18 years. He always spends time thoroughly reviewing a patient’s medical history and any changes to their health before beginning a procedure so he can provide the best dental care possible. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website or at (830) 693-8833.