Sharing Medical History With Your Dentist Can Save Your Life - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/12/05-Tyler

Sharing Medical History With Your Dentist Can Save Your Life

If you're going to the dentist to get that healthy smile, you need to make sure you're sharing all of your medical history with your dentist. For those with certain health conditions, taking precautions prior to a dental visit can mean the difference between life or death. One East Texan wishes her loved one knew about this, before making his trip to the dentist.

Alice Kissel attended her cousin's funeral less than a month ago. Her cousin Bob Ryden was from Arlington, Washington and was going for his routine dental visit. Kissel says, "He had a teeth cleaning and according to his physician sometimes bacteria from the mouth can settle into the heart values. The bacteria can be there for quite a while before it is discovered or just go away or attack the heart and other organs of the body, apparently that's what his did."

When Bob was a child his doctors told him he had a heart murmur, but was never required medical treatment. Kissel says, "You know those little sheets that you check off when you go to the dentist, we don't know what he check off or if he put down a heart murmur or not because it was so small in his life that he probably never even thought about it." A few months after Bob went to the dentist he thought he had the flu, turns out he had a heart infection and later died. His doctors confirmed that he had a bacterial infection from his dental visit.

"We know for a fact because the disease control doctor did spell out that this was a bacteria that can only come from the mouth," says Kissel. Dentists here in East Texas say they take certain precautions to ensure their patients' health.

Tyler dentist, Dr. Paul Latta says some medical conditions, like a heart murmur, require patients to be pre-medicated. Taking a few pills an hour before your dental visit could save your life.

Dr. Paul Latta says, "There are various conditions most of them of the heart, if people have abnormalities of their heart if people have had artificial heart valves need to be premeditated." Sharing all of your medical history with your dentist even if you think it's insignificant, is vital.

"Anytime we are working in the mouth and there is some bleeding in the mouth, bacteria can enter the blood stream even though we use sterile instruments can still happen. You can develop bacteria endocarditis, infection of the heart and that are what we are trying to prevent with antibiotics," says Dr. Latta. He says having the antibiotics in your blood stream helps fight the risk of any infections.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com

 

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