Why does a dentist need to know about menopause, menstruation and bad habits?


Like any other specialist, the dentist asks a number of questions before starting treatment that allow you to identify complaints, the patient’s condition and the characteristics of his health. Sometimes the doctor’s questions can be unexpected, and many patients cannot find a connection, how can the answers to them help in making a diagnosis, prevent complications and predict treatment? Why does a dentist need to know about bad habits, taking birth control pills and other pills, as well as about the onset of menopause?

The impact of bad habits

It is worth noting that, even without asking questions about bad habits, a dentist can figure out a patient who smokes, abuses alcohol and, moreover, is a drug addict. And it’s not about the freshness of breath or persistent «ambergris», but about the changes that occur with the teeth and gums.

First of all, the formation of the so-called smoker’s plaque is noticeable, according to which the “diagnosis” takes place. A number of other characteristic changes are also visible, for example, specific forms of stomatitis, etc. The symptoms will depend on the type of bad habit.

But if the patient monitors the oral cavity, regularly visits the dentist for hygiene procedures, then the diagnosis of bad habits can be somewhat difficult. At the same time, it is necessary to warn the dentist about their existence, especially when it comes to serious interventions and long-term treatment:

  • Complicated or atypical tooth extraction

Smoking can be considered as a risk factor contributing to the formation of complications. The fact is that bad habits cause the development of xerostomia — dry mouth. In the absence of saliva, the activity of pathogenic bacteria increases, which is the cause of numerous complications;

  • Dental implants

Previously, bad habits were considered as a contraindication to implantation. And before the introduction of an artificial root, dentists strongly recommended quitting smoking and alcohol abuse. The presence of bad habits was considered as one of the causes of complications. Today, dentists have achieved significant improvements in implantation. And the question is not how “possible or impossible”, now the work is aimed at increasing the percentage of engraftment and reducing the number of contraindications. Smoking and other bad habits are considered as a risk factor for complications, which may require appropriate measures to prevent them. Usually the dentist asks a series of standard questions, but if he forgot to ask about bad habits, then the patient must remind him on his own;

  • Orthodontic treatment

Correction of bite in adults takes some time. On average, braces will need to be worn for about 1.5-2 years, and after treatment they are replaced by special mouthguards that “fix the result”. No dentist will deny that braces in the oral cavity are an increased risk of caries and other oral diseases. Smoking and alcohol abuse increase these risks and make them almost 100%. In order to avoid such consequences, the dentist, after a conversation with the patient, will draw up an individual prevention plan that will correct the bite and save the teeth.

Taking various pills

Taking various pills

Many pills have a number of side effects that can cause complications after treatment in the dentist’s chair. Before starting treatment, the doctor finds out exactly what medications the patient is taking and may ask a provocative question about the method of contraception in women.

Before a tooth extraction operation, it is important for the dentist to know about taking birth control pills, anticoagulants, and drugs that help control blood pressure.

The fact is that birth control pills can increase the chances of bleeding, especially when it comes to a complex technique or the removal of several teeth at once. In some cases, before the operation, the dentist may give recommendations for not taking blood-thinning pills.

If the patient is to have implantation, the dentist must be told about taking all the medicines. For example, birth control pills increase the risk not only of bleeding in the postoperative period, but also of rejection of the artificial root.

Knowing about taking pills, the dentist can recommend more reliable implant systems, as well as a number of additional measures that can reduce the likelihood of complications.

Why should a dentist know about menstruation?

Usually, the dentist asks the question about the day of the menstrual cycle before the tooth extraction operation. Every woman knows that in a certain phase of the menstrual cycle, due to the work of hormones, the chances of developing complications, such as bleeding, can increase.

If we are talking about a planned tooth extraction, then the dentist can advise the operation at the beginning or middle of the cycle, thereby reducing the likelihood of complications.

It is worth recalling that dentistry is a diagnostic specialty. And an experienced dentist can be the first to draw the patient’s attention to the presence of certain diseases of the internal organs. Also, the dentist is able to diagnose pregnancy by the characteristic symptoms in the oral cavity, and the women themselves may not even be aware of their interesting position. It is with this fact that the question of the dentist about the date of the last menstruation may be associated.

Why talk about menopause?

Why talk about menopause?

The question of the onset of menopause for many women is personal, intimate. And when the dentist asks questions about menopause, they are lost. Why should a doctor know about its onset?

It’s worth starting with the fact that menopause is a period in a woman’s life, which is characterized by the extinction of sexual functions. This is due to a decrease in the production of hormones and corresponding changes in the work of the whole organism.

Menopause is associated with some changes in the work of a woman’s body, for example, osteoporosis — a decrease in bone volume. This is one of the reasons for the development of such dangerous pathologies as a hip fracture or periodontal disease. Numerous studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy and the intake of additional minerals will help to avoid the risks of dangerous pathologies.

Dentists consider menopause and bisphosphonate replacement therapy as a risk factor for implant rejection, which the dentist must be warned about.

Menopause is also a powerful predisposing factor for the development of a very dangerous disease — periodontal disease. And you should ideally think about its prevention even before the onset of menopause, or, at least, at its onset.

Dentists / Ed. Bazhanova N.N. 2008

Propaedeutics of internal diseases / Mukhin N.A., Moiseev V.S. 2008


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