Why your dentist needs to know about your medicine
Many patients forget to tell their dentist about their use of medicine. Others do not realize that this information might influence their dentist's choice of treatment and/or the results of it. Why do you need to inform your dentist about your medicine and what kind of medicine is it especially important for your dentist to know about?
Most medicines have an effect not only on the area of your body that they are supposed to treat, but on your whole organism. Many side effects of medicine can be seen in the mouth e.g. as dryness or increased bleeding. An example of medicine that it is especially important for you to inform your dentist about is anticoagulants (or blood thinners). Blood thinners are administered to prevent blood clots, but this medicine can cause problems during dental treatment, because it makes your gums bleed more after for example extractions or dental cleanings.
Some dentists will recommend their patients to stop taking the anticoagulant medicine just before dental treatment in order to prevent bleeding, but newer research has shown that the risk of stopping the medicine intake temporarily is too high compared with the danger of the bleeding caused by the medicine.
Instead of advising the patients to halt their medicine intake temporarily, the dentist might therefore take extra precautions during and after treatment to make sure that the bleeding has stopped before the patient leaves the clinic. When choosing what kind of pain killers to recommend to the patient, the dentist should also be aware that some pain killers enhance the effect of the blood thinning medicine.
If you are in doubt about whether your medicine is important for your dental treatment, talk to your dentist about it next time you see him. In fact. make it a habit always to tell your dentist when you have started taking new medicine or if your dosage has been changed.
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