Medical and dental history for tooth decay

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? For example, people with certain heart problems, such as an artificial heart valve, need to take an antibiotic before dental treatment to prevent a heart infection (endocarditis). People with diabetes may need special dental care to avoid tooth decay.
  • 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. In addition, 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.

Last Updated: July 17, 2009

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