5 Blood Disorders That Can Complicate Dental Procedures

Posted on: 1 April 2015

If not properly managed, blood disorders can adversely affect the outcome of dental procedures. To avoid potential complications, let your dentist know if you have a bleeding disorder or a family history of bleeding disorders. Tell your dentist if you get nosebleeds often, your gums bleed profusely, or if you've had prolonged bleeding in the past following dental treatment. The more your dentist knows about your overall health and risk factors, the better he or she can treat your dental problems.

1. Anemia

If you have anemia, your body either doesn't produce enough red blood cells or you don't have enough hemoglobin in your blood to carry oxygen. Oral symptoms of anemia include pale skin inside the mouth and a smooth, swollen tongue.

Anemia puts you at increased risk for gum disease. Certain types of anemia, such as aplastic anemia, also increase your risk of developing other types of infections.

With an autoimmune disorder like lupus, the body attacks its own red blood cells and stem cells in your bone marrow. When this occurs, you can develop aplastic anemia, which may lead to bleeding problems and infections. Therefore, before you have a dental procedure, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection.

2. Polycythemia vera

If you have polycythemia vera, your bone marrow produces too many red blood cells. The production of extra blood cells thickens your blood, putting you at higher risk of getting blood clots.

It's important to tell your dentist you have the condition since you may have difficulty breathing when you lie back in the dental chair. Additional symptoms may include red or purple areas on your tongue, gums, and lips, or flushing of the cheeks.

3. Low Platelet Count

If you don't have enough platelets, your blood may not clot well, putting you at higher risk of uncontrolled bleeding. Known as thrombocytopenia, autoimmune diseases that affect the immune system can cause low platelet counts.

Your doctor may recommend a prophylactic platelet transfusion to prevent bleeding if your platelet level is low. If lab tests show that your blood platelet level is below 50,000 microliters, you may require platelet transfusion before a dental surgery.

4. Hemophilia

If you have hemophilia, your body is missing blood-clotting factors, putting you at increased risk for uncontrolled bleeding during dental procedures. Before undergoing oral surgery or a dental procedure that can cause bleeding, your dentist will order blood tests to check the level of blood proteins.

Depending on the results, you may need factor replacement therapy to increase the amount of clotting factor in your blood. In cases of mild hemophilia, your doctor may administer a slow injection of a medication that releases more clotting factor into your blood to stop bleeding.

5. Neutropenia

If you have low levels of white blood cells (neutrophils), your body may have difficulty fighting off infections. An autoimmune disease, such as lupus, can cause neutropenia -- a condition that interferes with the body's ability to make white blood cells in the bone marrow. If you have fewer than 500 neutrophils per microliter of blood, bacteria in your mouth can cause infections.

Individuals with the condition often develop painful mouth sores. Because you may not get the redness and swelling that are common signs of infection, gum disease, oral yeast infections, and mouth ulcers can worsen quickly. To prevent infection following dental procedures, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics both before and after treatment. For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from http://www.fortcollinsdentist.com.