Diseases and Oral Health


What does my medical history have to do with my oral health?

Some medical conditions and medications can affect your oral health. Or they can affect the treatment you receive and the materials your dental team uses. So when you visit your dental team they will ask you about your medical history – that is, any medical conditions or allergies you have and any treatments you have or have had.

When I visit my dental team, what do they need to know?

They will ask you a lot of questions, from personal information – like your date of birth – to treatments you’ve or have had in the past. You will also want to know whether you suffer from illnesses or ailments, take medication or medication regularly, or have allergies.

They will also ask you for any other information they think is relevant to your oral health or dental care.

So they can offer you the best and safest treatment.

Why does my dentist need to know about surgeries I may have had?

Not every surgery will be important. But sometimes things you may not know can affect your oral health and how the dentist can treat you.

It is much better for the dental team to have all of the information so they can treat you properly and with ease.

Are my personal data confidential?

Yes. The information will be included in your dental notes, which will not be shared and are strictly confidential. You are also protected by data protection laws.

How can medications I take affect my mouth?

Many drugs, both prescription and non-prescription drugs, can cause “dry mouth”. This can be very uncomfortable and can also increase your risk for Inflammation of the gums and Caries.

Your dentist can advise you on how best to deal with this problem.

Is it important to let my dentist know if I have asthma?

Yes. The fact that you have asthma will be part of your medical history. Make sure you take your inhaler with you to every dental appointment and let the dental team know if you feel unwell or out of breath.

If you have severe asthma and need sedation for treatment, your dental team can refer you to the hospital for this.

How can vomiting affect my teeth during pregnancy or due to an eating disorder?

Vomiting can cause stomach acid to come into contact with your teeth. The front teeth are most likely to be affected and over time the enamel can wear away. This is called ‘Tooth erosion“And leads to tenderness and discoloration as the yellower dentin shows through the enamel.

You can help lessen the effects of the acid by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after vomiting and rinsing it with water or a fluoride mouthwash.

It is important that you tell your dentist about all of the medications and tablets you are taking.

Why does my dental team need to know if I am allergic to anything?

Many people are allergic to certain medications, such as penicillin, and it is important that you tell your dental team about any drug allergies you have. Some people are also allergic to latex (rubber).

This has several uses in the dental office, from gloves to rubber dams. Let your dental team know if you are allergic so they can use a different material. If you had a reaction, be sure to let the team know the next time you visit.

Why do my dental team need to know if I have hemophilia?

If you have haemophilia and need treatment that may cause bleeding, such as: For example, an extraction, you will usually be referred to a specialist. This is to ensure that you do not experience any complications and that you are safely receiving the treatment you need.

Why do my dental team need to know if I have hepatitis?

Dental offices are very careful not to spread an infection from one patient to another, but they will be extra careful when they know you are a patient with hepatitis.

Could HIV Affect My Oral Health?

HIV can affect your oral health and it is very important to have good oral hygiene and to visit your dental team as often as recommended. If you have uncontrolled HIV infection, you will have more problems in your mouth. Your immune system becomes weakened and this can mean that gum disease is more serious and can develop very quickly. Oral thrush is common in people with a weakened immune system.

“Hairy leukoplakia” appears as furry white lesions on the tongue and can often be the first sign of HIV.

“Dry mouth” can be another side effect of HIV. Dry mouth itself can be uncomfortable and increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. Your dental team will be happy to advise you on how to best deal with it.

How does diabetes affect my oral health?

People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease. Also, if someone with diabetes has gum disease, their control over their blood sugar levels is likely to be poorer.

If you have diabetes, you will usually heal more slowly. So once you’ve pulled a tooth out, the socket may take longer to heal and you may have a higher chance of getting an infected (or dry) socket. If you have diabetes, let your dental team know whether it is type 1 or type 2 and how you will control it.

Plan your dental appointments so that you are unlikely to be “hypo” during the appointment. Keep in mind that the stress of an appointment can cause your blood sugar to drop and make you feel passed out.

What can i do if i have epilepsy?

Epilepsy is another condition that your dental team needs to know about if you have a seizure during treatment. Your teeth, lips, and tongue can be damaged during a seizure. In this case, contact your dental team for advice.

If you are taking Epilim, ask about sugar-free medicines if you need to take the medicine in syrup or liquid form.

Epanutin – another drug prescribed for epilepsy – can cause your gums to overgrow, and good oral hygiene is especially important in this case.

How can kidney disease affect my oral health?

People with kidney disease are at higher risk of oral health problems such as gum disease and bad breath. If you are on dialysis, book your dental appointments for days when you will not receive any treatment. This will help avoid complications.

Do I have to tell my dental team that I am taking blood thinners?

Yes. It is very important that you let your dentist know if you are taking blood thinning medications such as warfarin. If you have a tooth pulled out or have surgery, they may advise you to change your use of these drugs to reduce the risk of bleeding.

Do I have to tell my dental team that I am taking bisphosphonates?

If you are taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis (a disease of fragile bones), complications can arise from tooth loss.

If you are taking this medicine and need treatment, your dentist may decide to refer you to the hospital for special treatment.

Why is it important to let my dental team know if I’m taking antidepressants?

Some antidepressants can cause a reaction to certain local anesthetics. To ensure that your treatment is as safe and comfortable as possible, it is important that you let your dental team know about it.

Will my dental team contact my doctor?

Your dental team will only want to contact your doctor if they think something may affect your treatment. They will first ask for your permission.

How can cancer affect my oral hygiene?

A Cancer treatment surgery can make it difficult to brush your teeth and keep the areas in and around your mouth clean. Surgery can make areas very sensitive and painful.

It may be best to use a very soft toothbrush and maintain a good oral health routine as much as possible. Brushing, rinsing, and cleaning the spaces between your teeth can be very difficult, but it’s important to do your best so you can avoid complications.


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Do you need further advice?

For free and impartial advice about your oral health, turn to ours Dental hotline by email or by phone on 01788 539780 (UK local rate).

Our Dental Helpline is completely confidential and has helped nearly 400,000 people since it opened over 20 years ago. Contact our experts by phone, email or online request, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



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