Medical history is very important. Asking questions that show an understanding of listed medical conditions and related common problems offer several benefits. The two basic categories of information addressed during the review of the medical history include the past medical history and review of patient systemic health. The dental office uses a medical evaluation to obtain most of the information. Of particular note is medication usage within the preceding 6 months, allergies, and the review of the systems of the body. The pathophysiology of the systems, the degree of involvement, and the medication being used to treat the conditions are evaluated. Bleeding disorders are one of the most critical conditions encountered during surgery, and they can be detected during the medical history.

Some conservative surgery and restorative implant procedures are rarely contraindicated based on systemic conditions. Systemic diseases have a wide range of effects on a patient depending on their severity. The diseases discussed with the patient are classified as mild, moderate, or severe. A disease entity affects the host with varied intensity. Hence, mild diabetes may permit implant treatment, yet the same disease in the severe form may contraindicate most implant therapy. Therefore a mild diabetic patient should be treated differently than the severe diabetic patient. No surgical procedure should be performed on a patient suspected of having a bleeding problem based on history, examination, and a clinical laboratory test. A patient that has diabetes is treated differently than a patient that has high blood pressure, or a patient with respiratory problems, or a patient that is pregnant. It is in your best interest as a patient to give as much detailed information about your health to Dr. Anne Nicholas, your dentist in Palm Desert, California.

What effect do drugs used to treat heart disease have on my gums?

If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, your physician may have prescribed a number of different medications, some of which may affect your periodontal health or put you at risk for periodontal disease. Some commonly prescribed medications can cause dry mouth, increased plaque, or enlarged gum tissue. These conditions frequently result in bacterial infections under the gum line, causing bleeding gums and bad breath.

Please list specific drugs you are taking when completing your medical history forms. Please discuss these medications with your periodontist to find out what effects, if any, they could have on your periodontal health. Your periodontist will work with you and your physician to minimize negative effects.