When we go to the dentist, we tend to think that the professional working in our mouth is only concerned with our dental health. This is because we often forget that dental health is a reflection of what’s going on in the rest of our bodies and vice versa. While you wouldn’t need to tell your dentist that you broke your foot, unless it’s the sign of a bigger problem or you walked in wearing a boot, it is important to let them know about major changes in your physical well-being.

Patients recently diagnosed with diabetes, osteoporosis, an eating disorder, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or who were prescribed new medications need to inform their dentist because these are examples of conditions that can adversely affect dental health. Those with diabetes are at risk for developing gum disease, which can result in infections making diabetes worse. Patients who have osteoporosis are at risk of the bone supporting their teeth weakening; therefore it’s important for them to let their dentist know why their mouth may be changing. A dentist needs to know about an eating disorder as that would provide one possible reason for bleeding gums and/or eroding teeth. GERD can also lead to teeth erosion because of the acid in the digestive track.

Make sure you tell your dentist of any new medications or changes in current medication. It may not seem important, but you tell your other doctors about them so the medical professional handling your mouth should be no different. Different medications have different side effects with a common one being dry mouth, which is more than just uncomfortable. If you are not producing enough saliva, you may experience a dry mouth. Not enough saliva means that the bacteria that causes gum disease may not be getting washed away like it would in a healthy mouth.

Even if your health issue wasn’t mentioned here, you should still let Dr. Makrauer know. It will make it easier for the team at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts to determine the cause of a dental-related problem by giving them a place to start and devise a treatment plan that won’t interfere with existing conditions.