Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
While medications are designed to make us feel better, in some cases their side effects can instigate a second, completely different, problem. That's why dentists encourage patients to "open up," in more ways than one!
If you have medical conditions, or if you are taking any medications, please make sure we're aware of them at the start of your dental visit.
Both daily prescription-strength medications and occasional over-the-counter drugs can have temporary, or even permanent, effects on your oral health. For example, hundreds of common medications, including antihistamines and high blood pressure treatments, can cause side effects that affect your oral health. There may be noticeable changes to your soft tissues, or gum overgrowth, and you may even experience changes to your sense of taste.
Dry mouth is another common side effect of certain medications, including asthma medications and antidepressants. The condition, which leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash away food from your teeth, may leave you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, and can cause sore throats, problems with speaking, and difficulty swallowing, in addition to fungal infections and bad breath. Some coping mechanisms to deal with dry mouth include sipping water regularly, chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy, breathing through your nose and not your mouth, and, of course, brushing your teeth at least twice a day and seeing your dentist regularly. Ask us for information on moisturizing mouth spray and other dry mouth coping mechanisms, too.
People with certain medical conditions may require special consideration in the dental chair. For example, patients with low blood pressure may require a more upright positioning in the dental chair. Did you know that a high consumption of herbal teas could cause low blood pressure? Low blood pressure puts people at risk of fainting in the dental chair, so in addition to updating us on the drugs you are taking, make sure you keep us advised of any herbal remedies or alternative medicines you may be taking, too, as most people don't realize that multivitamins, ginseng tablets and herbal teas can also be considered drugs.
If you've had heart surgery or joint replacement, or are immunosupressed due to illness, radiation treatment or a drug you are taking, please let us know. Sometimes we need to prescribe antibiotics before we even start dental work, in order to avoid possible infection or complications in the event you bleed during your dental procedure.
As you know, our office keeps a file on your dental history. In that file is also any background information you've shared with us about any medical conditions you have or any medications you may be taking. Some drugs can interact with medications that we may need to prescribe for your dental work, so it's important that we know which drugs you are taking and in what doses.
Please also remember to share your oral health history with your physician as, while you may not link your gum disease to your overall health, research has shown that gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that may put you at a higher risk for other diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. Be sure to let your dentist or periodontist know if you have any of these medical conditions, or if you have a family history of disease.
Please keep us updated on any changes to your medical status, in order for us to treat your dental needs safely and appropriately.