Does Your Dentist Know What Herbs and Drugs You Take?

Keeping your family’s medical team in the loop on the medication and supplements you consume is more important than you might imagine. Some supplements, especially those that also act as natural blood thinners (like garlic and curcumin) can create serious complications during surgery and deep cleanings. In this article, we’ll fill you in on what can go wrong, some of the common herbs and drugs that cause problems, and some of the common questions that pop up so you can be prepared.

What Can Go Wrong

Keeping your dentist abreast of the supplements and medications your child takes is critical for two very important reasons: some are blood thinners and can prevent clotting during surgery and cleanings, and others can heighten or lessen the effects of anesthesia. Neither of these scenarios is good, so whenever you’re taking anything at all (even over the counter meds), be sure to let your medical team know.
SOME of the Common Herbs and drugs that cause problems (not a complete list)

  • Everfew
  • Ginseng
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Ginkgo
  • Kava and Ephedra
  • Curcumin
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo
  • Goldenseal
  • Alfalfa
  • Barberry
  • Bromelain
  • Cinnabar root
  • Dong quai
  • Horse chestnut
  • Melilot
  • Oregon grape
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Alprazolam (also known as Xanax)
  • Atenolol Furosemide (also known as Lasix)
  • Lipitor
  • Propoxyphene
  • Synthroid (also known as Levothyroxine)
  • Vicodin (also known as hydrocodone)

Keeping safe from dental drug interactions and excessive bleeding, is as simple as talking to the doctor before an exam. Many times, a patient will fill out paperwork mentioning the drugs or supplements they’re taking when they first start as a patient – if you’re not asked about changes to your habits since filling out that form, however, offer up the info on your own. It’s the best thing to do to cover all your bases.

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