Importance of Medical History for Your Dentist

Importance of Medical History for Your Dentist

At your next dental appointment, Dr. Afar, Los Angeles dentist, may request information about your medical history to ensure your records are current. This can come as a surprise to some of our patients. After all, what does their dental health have to do with their medical health? Medical health and dental health can be closely intertwined, and knowing your medical history can help our dentist make better choices about your dental care. You may need to provide a medical history when you see a dentist for the first time or provide an update whenever your health status changes.

A thorough medical history will often be requested at your first dental checkup with a new dentist. At this appointment, you should list everything you would at a medical checkup even if you are unsure it is important. Many health conditions can affect your tooth and gum health. Diabetes, for example, can increase your risk of gum disease.

Other information to include on your medical history includes:

  • Any recent surgeries
  • Artificial heart valves or congenital heart defects
  • History of heart murmurs or mitral valve prolapse
  • Presence of a pacemaker
  • History of bacterial endocarditis
  • Asthma
  • History of rheumatic fevers
  • Epilepsy
  • History of seizures
  • History of joint replacement surgery
  • If you are pregnant or lactating
  • Allergies to any medication or latex
  • Past or current tobacco use

Along with medical conditions and surgeries, our dentist will also need to know about any medications you are taking, particularly before any dental surgery procedure. Certain medications may make you more susceptible to gum disease, increase the risk of dental decay or interact with anesthetics or other medications used in our dental office.