You know that your dentist cares about your brushing and flossing habits, but did you know they care just as much about your overall health? You may not think about your teeth and gums when considering your health, but the two are certainly connected. For instance, did you know that some medical conditions can increase your risk of cavities, and that some oral health issues can put you at a higher risk of heart disease and memory loss? That’s why it’s so important to keep your dentist informed about your overall health. Here are seven health factors to bring up at your next checkup, especially if it’s been a while since your last one.
1.) New Medications or Supplements
Your dentist should be informed about any medications, vitamins, or supplements that you take regularly. Some of these can cause issues like dry mouth, which can weaken tooth enamel and put you at a higher risk of cavities.
Seasonal allergies and the medications used to treat them also cause chronic dry mouth, so it’s important that your dentist is aware of them. Plus, it’s essential that they know about any medications that you’re allergic to so they can avoid treating you with them.
3.) High Blood Pressure
Most of the time, your dentist will take your blood pressure before beginning any treatments to ensure your safety. You should let your dentist know if you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, as oral health issues like gum disease can raise blood pressure further and sometimes cause medications for high blood pressure to be less effective.
Diabetes is notorious for causing a whole host of problems. Unfortunately, some of these include an increased risk of gum disease and its complications. Even if you have your diabetes managed with medication, it’s important that your dentist knows about it.
5.) Chronic Digestion Issues
Your gut health and oral health influence each other. Bad oral bacteria getting into the gut can cause stomach problems and a misaligned bite can cause you to chew unevenly, which can lead to digestion issues. On the other hand, digestive problems like acid reflux can weaken your enamel. Diagnosed or not, let your dentist know if you’ve been experiencing chronic digestive issues.
6.) Stress or Depression
Your mental health can play a role in your oral health as well. As mentioned, it’s important that your dentist knows about any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication you’re on so they can properly monitor your oral health. Plus, depression can sometimes cause a higher risk of tooth decay and anxiety can lead to unconscious teeth grinding. Even if you’re just going through a tough time in life at the moment and haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, it’s best to let your dentist know.
7.) Jaw Pain or Morning Headaches
Is your jaw frequently stiff and sore? Do you wake up with headaches regularly? These are classic warnings signs of TMJ disorder, which could be brought on by teeth grinding. Leaving TMJ disorder untreated can have serious consequences, so its important that it’s detected early and treated by your dentist right away.
You are more than just a set of teeth to your dentist. Make sure to keep them updated about your overall health so they can make sure you’re getting the best care possible!
About the Practice
Dr. S. John Salivonchik has been providing high quality dentistry in Coplay for over two decades. He’s outfitted his practice with the latest dental technology and regularly completes continuing education in advanced topics and techniques. This way, he can ensure that each of his patients gets the personalized treatments they need to achieve a happy, healthy smile. To schedule your next appointment, he can be reached via his website or at (610) 502-1545.