As an oral surgeon, I want to share with you a question that I often get asked, “Why do you need to know about my medical history and why do you need to know about my medications?” If all we were doing was working on a tooth, it does not make sense to know your entire medical history. However, let me explain to you why it really does matter for us to know the different medications you may be taking.
First of all, medications can have different side effects on your health. If you have a dry mouth, it can affect how well you’re able to keep your teeth hydrated, how well you’re able to avoid plaque and bacteria (the things that cause cavities and gum disease), and how often we need to check in with you.
Secondly, different medications can affect how well your heart works, how fast or slow your heart beats, and what your blood pressure does. Essentially, the last thing we want to do is to create a situation or use medications ourselves that can adversely affect those areas or cause problems afterward.
The third reason is if we don’t know a little bit about your health then how are we going to make your health our priority? Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body and they all work together. It’s important that we understand that relationship so if your dentist asks you about your medications or wants to know what’s going on with your health history understand it’s because they care about you beyond just that tooth. They care about you because they want to make sure you’re as healthy as possible.