What Are Dental Care Tips for During Hepatitis C Treatment?
The hepatitis C virus usually lasts for a few months. It is important to take care all the details regarding your health before you begin treatment. This includes your dental health. It will help to keep a smile on your face through the whole process! Dental care is especially important for people living with hepatitis C or liver disease, which can both cause tooth decay and other oral health issues.
Talking to your dentist about hepatitis C
Schedule your checkup and cleaning a few weeks before starting treatment. When you arrive, you may want to let the dentist know that you have hepatitis C given that the virus is transmitted by blood. If you have low platelets or problems with bleeding, they should be warned ahead of time. I’ve had major bleeding with my gums and my dentist was ready.
Your doctor should be using proper sterilization to insure that you will be handled with clean equipment before and after treatment. There have been a few problems where someone was exposed to hepatitis C in a dental office. Gloves, masks, and sterile equipment are the standard for good dentistry. On that note, some patients confided in me that they felt judged by their dentist. I told them to find another provider. No one should feel discriminated against because of health concerns. Every office should have equal sterile practices for everyone.
During the cleaning and x-rays, they may find a cavity. Go ahead and arrange for the work to be done. If it is a simple filling, all the better. If you have to have extensive work, set up a plan over a few weeks.
My dental care tips
Once your mouth is healthy and you have your winning smile back, be sure and follow these dental care tips:
- Floss between all of your teeth with a dental tape or floss at least 2 times daily.
- Brush your teeth with a soft bristle brush. Stiffer brushes are too hard on your gums.
- Electronic type brushes are great and use vibrations to clean your teeth and gums.
- On the top, brush down and toward the tooth. This gently pushes your gums down to prevent receding gum lines.
- On the bottom, brush up for the same reason.
- Little circles are good to remove all food debris stuck between teeth.
- Brush your tongue gently or use a tongue scraper to get rid of any particles that can cause bad breath.
- A forced water device can help to wash your gums and help circulation also.
- If you have any bleeding while brushing a good peroxide rinse can be helpful. Keep massaging those gums gently and they will toughen up.
- About fluoride: I choose to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. I’ve had a lot of decay in the past few years. It does help to protect enamel. That’s your call. Talk to your dentist.
- Get a balanced diet and good nutrition. Malnourishment can weaken your teeth and gums.
- Buy extra helps for dental care and carry them with you. I always have little brushes that my granddaughter used when she had braces. Floss threaders can be helpful if you have a bridge.
I had my teeth cleaned before treatment. Then I had a few fillings after my long treatment. The older drugs were very harsh and I lost a lot of weight. With today's treatments, you should finish in no time with a beautiful smile. It will be a smile of relief that you no longer have the virus!
Does reading hep C patient stories aid you in your journey?