Yes, we really do need to know all your medications and supplements.
We recently had a wonderful training on our medical history updates by our very own Debbie! We discussed the reasons for detailed lists of all medications and supplements our patients take. Sometimes there is resistance to give a full list as it may not seem important to the patient for the dentist to know what your medical provider has prescribed or recommended for you.
We've been trained as a society to not recognize the medical aspects of dentistry - sometimes even viewing the mouth as a separate entity from the body! At Health Centered Dentistry we recognize the oral systemic connection and know that there are medications and supplements effect your oral health.
Unknown Side Effects
Debbie presented many great insights on the connection of medications and oral health. One source she used was a great article titled "Medication Side Effects and Your Oral Health" by Lynn Yoffee. Yoffee states, "Some of the most common side effects from medications that affect oral health include:
Inflammation, mouth sores, or discoloration of the soft tissues in your mouth
Teeth and gum color changes
Thrush, or an oral yeast infection."
Another great article she shared was "Herbal Supplements May Require Modifications of Dental Treatment" by Dr. Abebe and Dr. Smith with Dentistry Today. Some of the supplements they stated that can effect dental treatment include St. John's Wort and ephedra (Mahuang). They also noted, "products with blood-thinning, hypotensive, and central nervous system (CNS) depressing properties, appear to have greater potential to require modifications when performing dental treatment... [They] have the potential to enhance the risk of bleeding."
Options to Help You Remember
It's so important as a patient to always know your medications and supplements by name. It's an added bonus when you know the amount you're taking, too!
However, some of us have more than 1-2 medications and cannot memorize them all. Here are some suggestions from our team members to help you keep track of your medications and supplements:
Keep an updated list of your medicines on a sheet of paper in your wallet/purse.
Take a picture of each medicine on your phone. This really helps with the details for each medicine.
Fill out a consent form to contact your medical provider. Sometimes the list is too long and/or complicated for the patient. By giving your consent for us to speak with your medical provider, we can have them email or fax a list of your updated medicines every time you come in.
Let Us Help!
We are always ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your medications and supplements. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or call us at 907-276-4537.