By Drs. Joe Passaro and Woody Wooddell

While it may seem like an unnecessary chore when your dental office asks you to fill out a medical history form and provide a list of all the medications you take, it is essential for a dental practice to maintain a current medical history and medications list for every patient. Although a dentist primarily treats the area in and around your mouth, your mouth is an important part of your entire body. Health problems that you may have, or medications that you may be taking, could have an important interrelationship with your dental health and the dental treatment you will receive. So, it is important to update your dentist and/or hygienist with any changes to your health since your last dental appointment.

Many medications can cause conditions which impact your oral health such as dry mouth, tissue inflammation and clenching of the jaw muscles. Also, there are medical conditions that can affect your dental care that many patients are not aware of. For example, itis advised that a patient should not:

  • have dental treatment within six months of a heart attack*
  • have dental treatment within 90 days of a stroke*
  • have a cleaning the same days as kidney dialysis

Additionally, a patient who has undergone joint replacement surgery and those with infective endocarditis may require a prophylactic antibiotic before certain dental procedures. The patient’s orthopedic or cardiac specialist should recommend and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic regimen.

While it may seem like an inconvenience, keeping your dentist and hygienist informed of your medical history and changes to your health and the medications you take is vitally important to your dental care.

*In the case of a dental emergency, your dentist will provide treatment accordingly.

In addition to caring for their patients’ general dental health, Drs. Wooddell and Passaro provide expert restorative and esthetic dental solutions. Visit their website at or call 410.956.5555 for more information.

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