Health And Lifestyle Changes You Should Tell Your Dentist About
Often when you sit down in a dentist's chair, they will ask you if there are any changes they should know about. People will generally respond by telling the dentist about any problems they have been having with their teeth or gums. Your dentist does need to know this information. However, this is also the time at which you should tell your dentist about any general changes in your overall health or lifestyle. Here are a few key changes and diagnoses your dentist really should know about.
If you are a woman and have begun to enter menopause, this is something you should share with your dentist. When you enter menopause, your hormone levels change. More specifically, your body starts producing less estrogen. This can have an effect on many different tissues in your body, including your gum tissue. It makes some women more prone to gum disease, and other times, it can make the gums more sensitive and prone to bleeding. If your dentist knows you're in menopause, they can have the hygienist be gentler when cleaning your teeth, and they may recommend some rinses or specialized toothpastes to help keep gum disease at bay.
Were you recently diagnosed with a heart-related problem such as a valve abnormality, high blood pressure, or atherosclerosis? If so, this is something your dentist needs to know about. Heart health and dental health are closely related. Releasing bacteria from the teeth during a cleaning can be risky for patients with certain health problems. Your dentist may want you to take antibiotics prior to your appointment from now on, or they may want you to have more frequent cleanings to reduce the buildup of oral bacteria.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or even pre-diabetes, then this is something else to share with your dentist. Diabetes can affect the health of your immune system, making you more prone to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth abscesses. Your dentist may give you some preventative care tips to help protect you against these ailments over the coming years. They may also have some recommendations for low-sugar foods and snacks that are good for both your diabetes and your dental health.
If you are not sure whether you should share a certain health change with your dentist, err on the side of caution and tell them. The more your dentist knows, the more they can do for you. For more information, contact a dentist near you.