False Teeth - Making the Right Choices

Teeth Cleaning For People Taking Prescription Anticoagulants

Regular teeth cleanings are important to oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly for dental teeth cleanings can help lower your risk for gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral infections, and dental decay. People who take prescription anticoagulants, otherwise known as blood thinners, may be especially vulnerable to gum disease and cavities because they may be fearful of brushing and flossing properly because doing so can trigger a bleeding episode. Here are some things to consider about teeth cleaning if you take prescription anticoagulants. 

Discuss With Your Dentist

Before getting your teeth cleaned, tell your dentist you are taking prescription anticoagulants. They will need to know that you are taking a medication that has the potential to alter your platelet function. When your dentist knows that you are taking anticoagulant medications, they can rule out dental causes of oral bleeding that may occur during dental procedures such as dental cleanings and oral surgery.

Once your dentist knows about your anticoagulant use, they will tell you how to perform your daily oral hygiene routine so that your risk for bleeding episodes will be minimal. Even though you may be hesitant to brush and floss properly, it is important that you do so because if plaque is not effectively removed during your oral care routine, it will harden into calculus, which may lengthen the time that you are in the dental chair for your teeth cleaning appointment. 

Be Prepared

You will need to be prepared for your dental cleaning so that anticoagulant-related bleeding can be minimized. One way that you can prepare for your appointment is to talk to your primary care physician about nutritional interventions that can help enhance gum health, optimize platelet function, and lower bleeding risks.

Your doctor may recommend that you start taking vitamin C supplements a couple of weeks before visiting the dentist because it is thought that vitamin C enhances gum health, helps keep your gum tissue healthy, and lowers the risk for gingival bleeding. Furthermore, if your dentist recommends that you undergo additional dental procedures at the time of your cleaning appointment, tell your physician. They may want to temporarily lower your anticoagulant dosage a week or more before your procedure to minimize your bleeding risk.

If you take prescription anticoagulants and are concerned about teeth cleaning, talk to both a physician and a dentist. When you work with both of your healthcare providers, you will be more likely to enjoy optimal dental health and favorable general health.