We think of dentists as practitioners devoted to caring for our teeth, gums, and the soft tissues inside our mouth. But dentistry involves even more. Your dentist needs to know about certain medical conditions that may impact your dental health or treatment. Here are five medical diagnoses that your dentist needs to know about.
Whether you have Type I or Type II diabetes, tell the dentist so he or she can better protect your oral health. Diabetes can cause certain types of skin problems and healing issues. The dental practitioner can use the appropriate assessment techniques and treatments to protect your overall health.
There are many types of cancer, and not all have a bearing on dentistry. However, certain kinds, along with drug treatment used to control or cure the condition, may impact your overall dental health. It could also influence the type of treatment you should receive for various dental problems, from fillings to extractions. Let your dentist’s office know your diagnosis as well as specific medications you are taking when you come in for a routine exam or due to problems associated with your diagnosis and treatment. For additional information, please visit Your Smile Dental Care.
3. Heart Disease
Like cancer and other chronic conditions, heart disease comes in a variety of forms. You may have a normal heart murmur, for example. Alternately, you could have a mitral valve prolapse, which in some patients requires special dental treatment. Blocked arteries and congestive heart failure likewise should be reported to the dentist’s office so appropriate steps can be taken during treatment.
Although many people have hypertension, or high blood pressure, most are being treated by a doctor who has prescribed medication to lower the pressure to acceptable, healthy levels. However, if you know your blood pressure is elevated and has been for some time, and if you are not being treated for it, let the dentist know so treatment can be adjusted, if needed.
5. Viral Diseases
Contagious viral diseases like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C are serious conditions that can be transmitted to others through saliva and minute amounts of bodily fluid. The dental team needs to know in advance if you have one of these conditions so that adequate precautions can be taken. Anything that is contagious and is not being medically treated, like strep throat, should be told to the dental associates who are providing exams, cleanings, and treatment.
Dentists can treat their patients more effectively when they are informed about medical conditions that impact patient health and may have a bearing on dental treatment. Keep your dental team informed of any medical conditions you develop that may influence your dental evaluations, care, and treatment.