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Medical Histories Help Me Help You

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When our practice requires you to fill out a medical history form, it is so we learn about the malfunctions in various parts of your body. Some of these affect the local anesthesia that I use, some make you bleed more during a procedure, and several have “oral manifestations”. That is the term used for a disease or condition that shows up in the mouth, as well as other ways around your body. It could be as simple as a medication that makes your mouth dry, and you’ve chosen to sip soda at your desk all day.

One of the conditions is Oral Thrush. It often surfaces when blood sugar levels are too high. When a patient comes to see me because they have redness or bleeding in their mouth that is painful, along with creamy-looking, white patches inside their mouth, I suspect thrush. Often, this is accompanied by a bitter taste and cracks at the corners of one’s mouth. Patients who don’t keep their dentures clean often develop Thrush.

The disease that we see the most is diabetes, which hinders your ability to fight off bacteria and makes you more susceptible to gum disease. This is especially true when one doesn’t monitor their blood sugar levels very well. It manifests as bleeding gums when you floss or brush and, sometimes, the gums are tender and more red than usual. Pus may be present when you press on the gums, and they often appear to “pull away” from the tooth, or teeth.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people on the Earth!

On return visits, we ask patients to update their medical histories, and medicine taken (including dosage) so nothing slips through the cracks.