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Medical and Dental History for Tooth Decay

Topic Overview

Your dentist will ask you questions about your symptoms and other dental or medical problems. This will help him or her find the best treatment for you. Your dentist will ask:

  • What are your symptoms? How long have you had a toothache? How severe is it? What makes it hurt worse or feel better?
  • What dental problems or dental work have you had in the past?
  • How often do you brush and floss?
  • Do you have any diseases or medical conditions? If you have certain health problems, you may need special dental care. For example, people who have diabetes may need special care to avoid tooth decay. And people who have certain heart problems may need to take antibiotics before dental procedures to lower their risk of a heart infection.
  • Are you allergic to any medicines? You may be allergic to a medicine a dentist might prescribe or use during treatment.
  • Are you taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines? A medicine your dentist may give you could react with your current medicines. Also, certain medicines, such as antidepressants, may cause dry mouth (xerostomia). If your mouth is very dry, it can cause severe dental cavities to form quickly.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
Last Revised June 14, 2011

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