It’s common knowledge that patients should tell their doctors about all new medications they are taking, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and supplements. This is because some medications and supplements can interact with each other and cause side effects. But you may not know that your dentist also needs this information. Here’s why it’s important to update your medical history at each dental visit.
Some medications increase the risk of bleeding.
If you’ve ever had surgery, you may have been told to stop taking certain medications for a couple of weeks prior to the procedure. This is usually because those drugs increase the risk of abnormal bleeding during surgery. This can also be problematic during oral procedures. It’s important to note that even herbal remedies can increase the risk of excessive bleeding, including gingko biloba, Echinacea, ginseng, and garlic, so tell your dentist about everything you’re taking.
Some drugs may alter taste.
Sometimes, patients visit their dentists complaining that they can’t seem to taste food the way they used to. Others might develop an unusual bitter or metallic taste in the mouth. If your dentist has your full medical history, he or she will be able to determine if one of the medications you’re taking could be causing this side effect.
Certain drugs can result in soft tissue reactions.
Some medications can increase the risk of soft tissue problems in the mouth. These reactions can include inflammation, discoloration, and sores. Blood pressure drugs, oral contraceptives, and immunosuppressive drugs are among the potential culprits of mouth sores. Talk to your dentist if you’ve developed any soft tissue pain or irritation.
Enlarged gum tissue is associated with some medicines.
Although there are other causes, it can be associated with immunosuppressive drugs and anti-seizure medications. If your dentist detects gingival overgrowth, he or she will discuss your oral hygiene routine with you. Thorough oral hygiene is particularly crucial for patients with this condition.
When you come into the dental office of John R. Carson, DDS for your teeth cleaning and exam, please take a moment to update your medical history. Our comprehensive approach to preventive dentistry is customized to suit each patient’s unique needs. If you need to make an appointment, you can call our general dentistry office in Tucson at (520) 514-7203.