You rely on your doctor to treat most of your body, but you rely on your dentist to treat your teeth. As such, you might conclude that you really only need to let your dentist know about tooth and mouth-related troubles you have been having. It is really helpful for your dentist to know a little more about your overall bodily health so they can make more informed decisions about your dental care, and so they can know what tooth conditions to keep an eye out for.
To this end, here are four health conditions or changes you should tell your dentist about at your next appointment.
1. New Medications
Whether you are prescribed something to manage your headaches, treat depression, regulate heartburn, or something else entirely, let your dentist know. Some medications cause side effects that might impact your dental health. For instance, some antidepressants are known to cause dry mouth, which can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. When your dentist knows what medications you are taking, they can tell you what precautions to take in order to reduce the impact of side effects,
If you are a woman who is going through menopause, share that change with your dentist. Changes in hormone levels can make you more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay, so your dentist may have some additional recommendations for you to follow in order to keep your teeth in good health. For similar reasons, you should tell your dentist if you are pregnant, begin taking a different form of hormonal birth control, or had a hysterectomy.
3. Heart Disease
If you are diagnosed with heart disease, or even if your doctor is just concerned that you might have high blood pressure or arterial plaque, tell your dentist about this. There is a complex relationship between oral care and heart disease, and patients with poor oral health are more likely to suffer heart problems. Your dentist can help you take better care of your teeth to help protect your heart.
4. Autoimmune Diseases
If you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, tell your dentist. These conditions can lead to dry mouth, which as discussed above, can make gum disease and tooth decay more likely. Your dentist can monitor your mouth moisture levels, and if needed, prescribe a special mouthwash that will help keep your mouth moist throughout the day.
For more information, a dentist's office like Thornley Dental can help.