Dental Concerns

General

1. Monitor vital signs at every appointment because of cardiovascular side effects.

2. Have the patient sit up slowly and remain seated for at least two minutes after being supine in order to minimize the risk of orthostatic hypotension.

3. Decreased saliva flow can put the patient at risk for dental caries, perio-dontal disease, and candidiasis.

4. Patients on chronic drug therapy may develop blood dyscrasias. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, bleeding, and poor wound healing.

Consultation with Primary Care Provider

1. Patients with symptoms of blood dyscrasias should be referred to their primary care provider for complete blood counts. Treatment should be postponed until the results are known.

2. Consultation may be required in order to assess extent of disease control and patient's ability to tolerate stress. Client/Family Teaching

1. Review the importance of good oral hygiene in order to prevent soft tissue inflammation.

2. Review the proper use of oral hygiene aids in order to prevent injury.

3. Daily home fluoride treatments for persistent dry mouth.

4. Avoid alcohol-containing mouth rinses and beverages.

5. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages.

6. Dry mouth can be treated with tart, sugarless gum or candy, water, sugar-free beverages, or with saliva substitutes if dry mouth persists.

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