Blog post by Stacy Dinges

The request for medical and dental histories can be a source of frustration for patients. The questions are extensive, and many patients wonder “What could this possibly have to do with my teeth?” Many patients feel the request of this information is an invasion of privacy and not relevant to dental care.

Though studies are ongoing, researchers have known for quite some time that the mouth is more than just a connection to the rest of the body. There is a correlation between oral health and systemic diseases. In addition, certain medications can affect the soft tissues and bone in the mouth. What does this mean you ask? Health conditions and diseases such as diabetes, auto immune disorders, cancers, heart disease, acid reflux and many more conditions have been linked to unhealthy mouths. Certain medications can cause dry mouth leading to tooth decay and limited treatment options for patients. A healthy mouth is more than just a pretty smile.

To keep your teeth, gums and body healthy, your doctor recommends the following:

  • Provide your dentist with a complete health history, including any illnesses and medication use.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to help remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that gets stuck between your teeth and under your gums.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning to help prevent any problems and detect possible problems in their early stages. The mouth is often the location used to diagnose a variety of diseases.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, which will help you maintain a healthier immune system, help prevent heart disease and slow diabetes disease progression.
  • If you smoke, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.

And that my friend is why the dental team is so interested in your medical history and medication list. We want to help you maintain a healthy mouth and a healthy body!