Yes. It will be put in your dental notes and kept confidential under the 1998 Data Protection Act.
You will need to tell your dentist if you are taking or rely on any medicines. This should include any inhalers, a recent course of antibiotics or regular medication for an on-going complaint. It is also important to remember to tell your dentist if you have taken any over-the-counter medicines or tablets recently, have had a recent prescription from your GP or take recreational drugs.You should also tell your dentist if you are taking the oral contraceptive pill. This is in case you need a course of antibiotics. These can cause the pill to become less effective and you will need to take extra contraceptive precautions. All this information is needed to make sure no dental treatment; drugs or materials will affect your health.
Maybe, but they should always ask your permission first. In some cases, particularly for difficult dental procedures or extractions, the dentist may want to contact your GP for advice. If you have had a recent operation, or rely on medication, your dentist may ask your GP if there are any problems which may affect your dental treatment.
We recommend you visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. However, if you have certain medical conditions your dentist may want to see you more often. Patients who suffer dry mouth due to certain medication may find they are more likely to get tooth decay and would therefore need checking more closely. The dentist may also refer you to the dental hygienist in the practice for regular scale and polish appointments to keep up your good dental health.
Some medical complaints which need regular medication can contribute to dry mouth, which in turn can cause tooth decay. Also, patients with epilepsy who rely on Epilim should always ask for sugar-free alternatives if they need the drug in syrup or liquid form. Epanutin, another drug prescribed for epilepsy, can cause gum problems.
Dry mouth can be caused by radiation treatment to the head and neck, damage to the salivary glands or by certain drugs. Antispasmodics, tricyclic antidepressants, some anti-psychotic drugs and HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) for patients living with HIV can all cause dry mouth. There are many artificial saliva products, sprays and lozenges that your dentist can prescribe which may help to ease your symptoms. The reduced saliva flow can increase the chance of tooth decay. It is important to brush with a fluoride toothpaste and keep sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes only.
Always make sure that your dentist is aware of your medical condition. However, it is now no longer considered necessary for people that have a heart complaint, heart murmur or rheumatic fever to receive an antibiotic cover one hour prior to dental treatment such as, a tooth extraction or scale and polish. The dentist may also choose to use a different kind of local anaesthetic (without adrenalin).
Recent scientific research has shown a link between poor oral health and other conditions such as heart and lung disease. This highlights the importance of good dental care. Keeping to a good oral hygiene routine at home and regular visits to your dentist will help to prevent gum disease and therefore avoid the risk of complications.
Haemophilia is a blood disorder. You must tell your dentist at your first check up if you are suffering from this condition. If the blood does not clot it may cause serious problems during dental treatment. If you need to have a tooth out, the dentist will need to refer you to the local hospital to be treated by a specialist and in the situation safest for you. After a tooth has been extracted, a clot needs to form in the socket to help it heal.Many patients take tablets for haemophilia and it is important to inform your dentist if you are on any medication.
Patients with anaemia may find they get more mouth ulcers. They may also get red lines and patches on the tongue. Ulcers usually last 7 to 10 days. However, patients with recurrent ulcers may find they take up to six weeks to heal. An ulcer which does not heal within 3 weeks, should be checked by your dentist. There are various sprays and creams that your dentist can prescribe if your symptoms continue.
It is important to establish a very strict oral hygiene routine as early as possible and get regular professional care. Oral signs and symptoms are only common in uncontrolled HIV. Lesions can appear, which may be purple-red discolourations or larger growths. Oral thrush is also common when the immune system has failed, but quickly responds to oral medicine. Hairy leukoplakia is a common oral condition and appears as white lesions on the tongue - it can often be the first sign of HIV.Periodontal (gum) disease is common with HIV, and often develops very quickly when the condition is uncontrolled. Because the immune system is weakened, the gum disease is more severe and oral antibiotics are often needed. Dry mouth is another side effect of HIV and can cause tooth decay due to the reduced levels of saliva. Your oral care routine should include using fluoride toothpaste and you may need fluoride supplements too. You can be prescribed sprays or lozenges to ease your discomfort. It is important to always ask for sugar-free alternatives.
People who suffer from diabetes can have severe gum disease if their condition is uncontrolled. Therefore it is important to follow a thorough oral care routine at home and to visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. You may also find that you heal more slowly after surgery and you should discuss this with your dentist before you have any treatment.
It is important to tell your dentist as soon as you find out you are pregnant. If you need dental treatment, it may have to wait until after the birth of your baby. In most situations x-rays should be avoided, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy. Some pregnant women find their gums bleed during pregnancy and need closer attention. You may be referred to the dental hygienist, if the practice has one, for regular cleaning and advice on how to maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. Remember to take your maternity certificate to your check up appointment, as you will be entitled to free NHS routine dental treatment while you are pregnant and until your baby's first birthday. (For more information please see our leaflet 'Tell Me About Dental Car for mother and baby'). Current guidelines suggest that old amalgam fillings should not be removed during pregnancy, but nor should new ones be put in. Speak to your dentist about alternative materials if you are unsure.