Sunday, April 12, 2015

Talk to Your Dentist About Changing Health Concerns

During a dentist appointment, patients generally speak to their care providers about concerns related specifically to their teeth. They might talk about jaw pain, tooth discoloration, sensitivity, or any other symptom they are experiencing. Many patients will leave out some very important health-related information when speaking to their dentist, however. Diagnoses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and other conditions will impact all parts of your body and all aspects of your health. Keeping your dental care team informed about your changing health concerns is actually very important, since these conditions can impact your dental health in some surprising ways.

What People With Diabetes Need to Know About Dental Health

People who are diagnosed with diabetes are often surprised to discover that this condition actually has the potential to affect their dental health in some negative ways. This is especially true if a patient's diabetes is not well under control.

Diabetes can diminish the body's ability to fight off infections because this condition, when mismanaged, has the potentially to impair the function of white blood cells. White blood cells are an important part of the body's immune defenses, so injuries are slow to heal and infections can become stubbornly established within the body.

Gum disease (gingivitis) is characterized by sensitive gums that are prone to bleeding even when lightly scratched, gum tissue inflammation, and a receding gum line. All this is caused by varying levels of infection triggered by the presence of large amounts of harmful bacteria on teeth. Plaque deposits are sites of bacteria activity and growth is stimulated by minuscule particles of food. Regular brushing and flossing will help remove these food particles, but only a dental cleaning is able to remove the harmful plaque. With the help of your dental care team, gum disease can be fought. However, any patient diagnosed with diabetes needs to make certain to alert their dental care team so that the patient can receive the proper care.

Filling Out Intake Forms

When patients have their first appointment at a new dental clinic, they will be given a few forms to fill out. This is where a patient can note any health concerns affecting them. This health form includes spaces to note:

  • Any hospitalizations
  • Surgical procedures and their date
  • Current prescription drugs
  • Current over the counter drugs, including multivitamins and herbal supplements
  • Cardiovascular concerns and pacemaker use
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Recent accidents or injuries
  • Diabetes

Make sure to fill out this medical form completely and provide any additional information that might be required to give your dental care team a complete picture of your physical health. If your health circumstances change, be sure to let your team know so they can make an appropriate note in your file. Most dental clinics also ask for contact information of people who you wish to have contacted in case of an emergency. Consider reviewing this information from time to time so you can be certain that your file contains the most up to date contact information.

Communicate With Your Dental Care Team

Updating your medical information is quite simple and will help your dental care team provide you with the very best care. Be sure to communicate new diagnoses, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.

Memphis dentist, Dental Excellence PC is a local, trusted dental practice offering general and cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, implants, veneers & other dental care. Call today to make an appointment! Call us now at (901) 685-1152 to set up your appointment!
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