Dr Amanda Phoon Nguyen
Written by Dr Amanda Phoon Nguyen, Sep 13, 2023
Fact Checked

It is important to let your dentist know your medical history. It is also important that this is regularly updated, and your dentist is aware of your most up to date information. 

This includes information on 

  • All current and previous medications (including inhaled, injected, lozenge and cream medications)
  • Any vitamins, minerals, supplements, or medications bought without a doctor’s prescription 
  • Any allergies and intolerances
  • Any medical conditions
  • Recent hospitalizations
  • Any surgeries within the last 2 years
  • Recent testing of your conditions, for example: if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, when they were last checked and what the readings were
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you smoke, vape, take illicit drugs, or drink alcohol
  • If you have a family history of cancer
  • If you have any dental anxiety
  • Details of your emergency contact and medical and other practitioners involved in your care

A written medical history form is usually given to you to fill out. This form is then discussed with you by your dentist. Sometimes it may be helpful for you to bring a copy of your medical history from your doctor. 

There are many reasons why it is important for your dentist to be up to date with your medical history. There are medications that can have side effects in the mouth. There are also medical conditions that can affect the mouth. The health of the mouth can also affect some medical conditions. 

Certain medications may cause a dry mouth and increase the chance of tooth decay or infection. Some medications and supplements can increase bleeding or increase the risk of problems in the mouth. An example is Medication Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (MRONJ). Tell your dentist if you have taken in the past or are currently taking medications such as Denosumab (Prolia), Zolendronate (Zometa), Risendronate (Actonel), Alendronate (Fosamax) or other bisphosphonates/antiresorptive medication for osteoporosis, bone problems, cancer treatment or other medical problems. This will allow them to decrease your risk of developing problems. 

Habits like smoking, illicit drug use and drinking alcohol may affect how things in the mouth heal. This includes during and after dental procedures. These habits can also increase the risk of oral cancer

In case of an unexpected medical emergency, your dentist needs to have an accurate and up to date idea of your medical history and health, as well as your emergency contact. 

essica Simpson
About the Author
Dr Amanda Phoon Nguyen

Amanda is a Perth Oral Medicine Specialist, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia, and Consultant at Perth Children’s Hospital.

View All Articles