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Knowing Medical History Is Important to Dental Care

Most of us expect to provide our medical history when we visit the doctor. But given the connection between oral and whole-body health, we should expect to provide our dentists with that same information, says Amanda Hill, a dental hygienist and industry educator.

In a post published in on January 28, Hill writes that her patients often wonder why it’s necessary to provide a thorough medical history form for a dental visit. She notes that 47 percent of adults over age 30 have periodontal (gum) disease, a condition linked to more than a dozen other diseases. She adds that some medical conditions, like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and HIV, often start with dry mouth, so a dental checkup can lead to early diagnosis and treatment.

“As a clinician, my knowing that you have a disease or a family history of a disease helps me help you manage or even avoid that disease,” she writes. “I have seen patients get their diabetes under control and then their gums get healthier as a result, and the inverse can also hold true: We focus on managing patients’ gum disease, and suddenly their diabetes is under control. But I need to know about it, or I can’t provide you with the best care.”

Information sourced by Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, owner of Cariodontal, located at 310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck, NY (516-282-0310 /, and Manhattan Oasis Dentistry, 525 West End Ave., Ste. 1G, New York, NY (212-874-2880 /

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