Why Your Dentist is Interested in Your Medical History

| 6 min read

Annoyed or confused. One or both might describe your response about why your dentist is interested in your medical history.

Perhaps the annoyance has something to do with yet another form to fill out. But the confusion you might feel likely involves a misunderstanding about something that’s essential to your overall health.

It’s time to make the connection

To put it simply, the connection we’re talking about is:

Your mouth is connected to your body!

Technically speaking, the relationship between your oral health and your general health is what’s known as a systemic connection.

For example,

"The CDC estimates that 47% of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal(gum) disease. Well, that periodontal disease could in turn be directly tied to more that a dozen other diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and diabetes.” [1]

Bottom line,


What’s affecting your mouth, teeth, and gums could have an impact on other parts of your body. Your dentist is of course focused on keeping your mouth and neck region healthy.

Thus, they have good reason to be interested in your medical history.

Why your medical history matters to your dentist

It’s more than a formality such as completing a detailed form. The questions are essential to helping you provide your dentist with information that’s vital to their care and treatment solutions.

Your medications and supplements matter

Some medications or health supplements cannot interact without risky side effects. A thorough list of your medications and supplements enables your dentist to be aware of what could cause problems if a prescription is required for your treatment.

  • Know your dosages.
  • Take a photo of your medication labels.
  • Have the information available when requested.
  • Be aware of and share any noted interactions common with your current medications or supplements.

Your allergies matter

General allergies are a primary concern. But it’s also important to know if you have an allergic reaction to latex or anesthesia.

Like your medications and supplements…

  • Keep a list of your known allergies.
  • Update your dentist about any changes or new allergies you become aware of.

Your current medical condition, diseases, and treatment matter

For example, if you’re being treated for diabetes or heart disease you could experience problems with tissue healing. This would potentially have an impact on certain dental procedures.

Your previous drug use matters

It’s understood that you might not be comfortable sharing this information. Even so, lack of communication about this could put your health at risk during dental treatment or cause discomfort.

For example, anesthetics might be less effective. The result would be a painful or uncomfortable treatment experience.

Be aware that your history of drug use is:

  • Private and protected information when shared with your dentist.
  • Essential to safe and effective dental care.

Tracking your medical history and being prepared to share it with your dentist helps assure an optimum dental experience. It also provides your dentist the opportunity to help you understand the systemic relationship between your oral health and overall health.

View the following related resource for more details:

Prioritize the Relationship Between Your Oral Health and Your Overall Health

  • Be curious about the health issues that could be connected to your dental health.
  • Be open with your dentist about your medical history.

Virtual dentistry provides a convenient, private, and secure option for these conversations with your dentist. An online dental appointment could be a first step to a health saving diagnosis and related treatment.

Schedule a dental check-up with a dentist online

The Dental.com team of dental professionals are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat any dental condition. From toothaches to second opinions - you’re covered!

  • Access a 24 hour dentist now from your personal, private, and secure account.
  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
  • Receive virtual dental care from a licensed dentist when you provide your issue details, any photos, and/or dental/health records.

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[1]           https://www.dentistryiq.com/personal-wellness/article/14232837/dear-patient-why-your-dentist-needs-your-medical-history