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10503 W. Thunderbird Blvd., Suite 384, Sun City, Arizona 85351

Do I Really Need to Tell My Dentist What Medications I’m Taking?

On March 7, 2017



Hundreds of medications exist that interfere with your oral health and many dental procedures, such as extractions, dental implants and gum surgeries. Drugs causing xerostomia (dry mouth) contribute to a variety of teeth and gum diseases — especially chronic halitosis, tooth decay and gingivitis.

When your mouth is dry, the lack of saliva means plaque-causing bacteria can’t be rinsed off teeth between brushings. Consequently, bacterial accumulations promoted by the stagnant, airless environment in your mouth encourages the development of decay, cavities and inflammation.

Telling your dentist you’re taking medications causing dry mouth will help your dentist determine whether you have an underlying cause for xerostomia. Reasons for chronic dry mouth include aging, nerve damage, dysfunctional saliva glands, some autoimmune diseases and smoking.

Your Medical History and Dental Treatment — What Your Dentist Should Know

Even if you’re going to your dentist for a simple cleaning and fluoride, always tell the dentist if you are taking antiplatelet drugs, such as low-dose aspirin or Plavix.

Antiplatelet drugs (blood thinners) prevent blood clots from forming in blood vessels by stopping platelets from aggregating. Platelets are similar to blood cells and circulate freely in your bloodstream. When they “sense” damage occurring to blood vessels, they flood the damaged area and bind together to form clots.

During dental procedures that involve cutting into capillaries extending through your gums, blood affected by antiplatelet medications flows faster and is less apt to clot normally. Fortunately, your dentist has tools and procedural techniques that make receiving dental treatment safe and effective if you take antiplatelet drugs.

Bisphosphonates are a group of medications your dentist should know about prior to dental treatment. People with bones weakened by osteoporosis or other bone density disorders take bisphosphonates to help prevent stress fractures and maintain bone health. Some people develop a bone problem called osteonecrosis of the jaw while taking bisphosphonate, which could worsen following certain dental procedures.

Medical conditions dentists need to know about before starting treatment include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Hemophilia
  • Drug allergies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer/chemotherapy/radiation treatment

It is also helpful for your dentist to know about past dental procedures, traumatic injuries to your neck, jaw and head and if you suffer from a psychological issue that may cause you to experience extreme discomfort during the procedure that could prevent its completion.

At Donoho Dental, we not only focus on providing our patients with superior, advanced dental treatments, but we also ensure they receive personalized care that always exceeds their expectations. Call Donoho Dental Associates today at (623) 633-7356 to learn more about what your dentist should now before you have dental work.


10503 W. Thunderbird Blvd., Suite 384, Sun City, Arizona 85351

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