Many patients complain that when they come into the office they must fill out yet another form! Your medical history is important to us.

Your mouth is filled with lots of bacteria and most of them are harmless- just like in the rest of your body. But your mouth is the entrance to the stomach and lungs, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.

Normally your immune system and good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. Without proper oral care, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay, gum disease and periodontal disease.

Saliva cleanses and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, and without a good salivary flow, bacteria can multiply and lead to disease. Medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants can reduce the flow of saliva.

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including: cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications and pneumonia. On the other hand, certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including: diabetes, HIV, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, arthritis, certain cancers and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome).

Update us on the medications you take and about changes in your overall health, especially if you’ve recently been ill or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.

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