Let your dentist know your covid history

dentist-doctor-coverall-showing-senior-patient-x-ray-during-coronavirus-concept-new-normal-dentist-visit-coronavirus-outbreak-wearing-protective-suit-Let your dentist know your covid history

Written by Dr. Krupa Patil

October 13, 2021

Do you wonder what has your dentist got to do with asking your complete medical history? What has he got to do whether you have diabetes, blood pressure or had a previous history of covid? But it is in the best interest of your dentist to have a better understanding of your case in detail and provide apt treatment for your primary dental concerns.

Since the world was curbed by COVID-19, the protocol to treat patients visiting dental clinics has seen a whole lot of change. The past medical history provided by the patients is used by dentists to correlate with current findings in the patient (if any) and come to a provisional or definitive diagnosis. Without a proper medical history, the dentists or practitioners may not be able to properly link all the findings in the patient and give a misdiagnosis. 

Save yourself before it’s too late

After recovering from covid, some patients that are prescribed corticosteroids, anti-coagulants, may develop diabetes post covid. It is necessary for the patients to provide a proper medical history so that the clinician will be able to properly manage and/or prescribe medications that will not hinder or react with the post covid medications. These reactions between medications can be either beneficial or detrimental, if the latter type of reaction occurs it may cause serious complications or even be life-threatening.

If the patient is unaware of post covid diabetes and has raised blood sugar levels, if any surgery, such as extractions are required the healing will be delayed and compromised, hence it is necessary to provide the clinician with proper tools, in this case, a detailed medical history so that she/he can properly diagnose, treat any/all diseases of the oral cavity without compromising the overall health of the patient.

According to one study, in patients with poor oral health status suffering from covid, the bacterial count colonizing the teeth was raised to two-fold to ten-fold. The dentist on their side takes all the precautions to prevent the nosocomial transmission of infections.

According to many studies conducted there are various oral symptoms and systematic diseases, they include loss of taste, loss of smell, reduced salivation, blisters, and ulcers on the corners of the mouth or the gums or tongue. Another post covid complication one can see is Mucormycosis also called as “Black Fungus”. 

What is Mucormycosis?

Mucormycosis is an opportunistic fungal infection that attacks the individual when the immune of the person is the lowest. it is important for the dentist to have a complete case history of the patient because any delay in the treatment may lead to a great loss of structure of the face. Mucormycosis invades the sinuses, palate, eye socket. The loss of these structures can have an impact on the mind and overall health of the patient. The involved tissue turns black and with the complete loss of function and vitality.

Therefore, it is important for the dentist to take a proper medical history and intervene at the earliest. Not telling a proper covid history to your dentist or intentionally not telling your dentist about it can cost you increased dental bills. The patient may also get his/her upper or lower jaw removed as a consequence of Mucormycosis due to the extensive spread of the disease. This is debilitating to the patient as he/she is not able to chew their food properly and has to undergo a second surgical procedure for rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation however will not always be and feel a hundred percent natural. Thus, the patient has to live a life that has been compromised, since you are unable to chew your food properly, it will not be digested, thus a lot of the nutrients of the food will remain undigested and will lead to nutritional deficiencies. 

studies and various cases of covid attended by doctors showed mucormycosis usually occurred after 3-4 weeks of getting affected by covid. However recent case attended by a few Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (dentists) showed patients were attacked by mucormycosis 8 months after suffering from covid. Hence telling your dentist a detailed covid history of when you were suffering from covid and other related symptoms will help your dentist get a background of what all he needs to address while attending your case.

Don’t keep yourself in the dark

It is very necessary to provide the clinician with the proper means to diagnose and treat any condition. If we go to a general practitioner, we tend to give a detailed medical history as we think that those problems can be life-threatening. However, the same seriousness and attention to detailed information are required while dealing with dental problems. Even though the problems and diseases that a dentist deals with may seem small and irrelevant, these same problems can turn into life-threatening conditions within a fraction of a second.

Hence, it is very essential to give a proper, detailed medical history including history of past COVID infection to the clinician to enable him/her to provide better care while taking all complications and precautions into account to prevent any further conditions from arising. Next time you visit a dentist, share a detailed medical history with your dentist.

Highlights

  • Give detailed medical history to the dentist
  • Do not hesitate telling your dentist about your covid history.
  • Letting your dentist know about your covid history can help your dentists detect early stages of mucormycosis as there is no specific time span that the disease may occur.
  • Keep yourself safe from “Black Fungus”.
  • Do not think any medical history is irrelevant to your dentist.

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Krupa Patil is currently working as an intern in School of Dental Sciences, KIMSDU, Karad. She has been nominated for the Pierre Fauchard Award from School of Dental Sciences. She has one article published in a journal which is PubMed indexed and currently working on one patent and two design patents. 4 copyrights are also present under name. She has a hobby of reading, writing about different aspects of dentistry and is a vivid traveler. She continuously seeks out training and professional development opportunities that allow her to remain aware and knowledgeable about new dental practices and latest technology is being considered or used.
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