It may seem bizarre that your dentist wants to know about your past and current medical history, or what kind of medications you are taking. What does that have to do with your teeth? Well actually, more than you probably think…
Your teeth are attached to your body, and are directly connected to your:
- Circulatory System– bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums, traveling to other parts of the body, causing infection, or contributing to existing disease.
- Nervous System– the mouth and face are the location for 30-40% of the body’s sensory and motor nerves – if not, your dentist wouldn’t need anesthetic.
- Musculoskeletal System– all of your teeth are cushioned in a bony socket and attached by ligament tissue to your head.
- Lymph System– infections of the mouth drain to the lymph system through nodes under your chin and neck.
- Immune System– the body’s inflammatory response to gum disease or other mouth infection can trigger other inflammatory disease and cause arteries to swell.
- Respiratory System– mouth bacteria can attach to saliva droplets that are inhaled and can cause pulmonary infections and respiratory problems.
Learning about a patient’s medical history enables your dentist to provide safe and individualized care, while working in harmony with your whole body. Having up-to-date medical information can help identify conditions relative to your dental health or which could have an impact on dental treatment recommendations. Because the body is all connected, medical treatments or medications being taken can affect dental health and may change the plan of treatment. For example, people with diabetes may have a slower healing process, and can be prone to certain gum conditions. Becoming familiar with any current or past medical issues can help your dentist know what to watch out for, what dental procedures to avoid, what potential outcomes can be expected, and when it’s important to consult your other healthcare providers.
In addition to medical conditions, medications can have a big impact on dental treatment. Knowing what supplements or medications you are currently taking can help your dental provider recommend the proper products and treatment options to maintain balance in all body systems and functions. Some medications can cause dry mouth syndrome, making patients more prone to cavities. It is important to be open and honest about your medical history and medications being taken so your dentist can provide quality dental care that does not disrupt other systems of the body. Your teeth and mouth are not just to chew food. They are the gateway to the rest of the body, and can have a major impact on your overall health.
Interactive Meridian Tooth Chart
Exclusively available at naturaldentistassociates.com
The mouth is not only connected to the different systems of the body, but each tooth is directly connected to various organs, tissues, and glands by a meridian. The mouth and body connection is often visualized as a chart showcasing these relationships. Seeing and understanding these connections helps to bring your dental and medical care full circle.
To explore these connections, check out our interactive meridian tooth chart. Click on a tooth to see its relationship to the body.
Thank you for being a valued member of our dental family. Please give us a call if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance whatsoever.