Sometimes dental care falls to the bottom of a very busy list of things to do. However, when you have been diagnosed with a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia or Von Willebrands Disease, taking care of your teeth needs to be given high priority. It is important for people with bleeding disorders to take good care of their teeth and gums. Making regular visits to the dentist will reduce the chances of future problems such as extractions or infections which can lead to further complications.
Depending on the severity of your bleeding disorder your Haemophilia Centre will advise you if it is ok to attend your local dentist or not. You still must inform your Dentist of your Bleeding Disorder as depending on your clotting levels you may need factor replacement cover for procedures like Dental Blocks, extractions, gum surgery, implants. However, should you need a tooth extraction, some deeper injections, gum surgery or a dental implant, your dentist should contact your haemophilia consultant or nurse for advice as this type of treatment will usually need to be provided in a specialist centre. Your dentist will advise you about how often you need to attend for check-ups and give you information on how to prevent dental problems. Everyone with haemophilia should attend their dentist at least once a year for a check up.
Gums that bleed after tooth brushing are a sign of early gum disease which is very common and it is important that this does not progress to more severe gum problems. The recognised treatment is to visit your dentist or hygienist for advice and to have your teeth professionally cleaned and monitored. Your dentist may advise you to use a medicated mouthwash and will recommend methods for brushing and cleaning your teeth more effectively. Your bleeding disorder may mean that your gums bleed a little more easily and for a little longer until the gums heal but it is important during this time to continue tooth brushing with a soft brush to remove the plaque and food debris which causes the gum disease.
This should always be co-ordinated by your haemophilia centre so that it can be carried out safely to prevent excessive bleeding. Depending on the severity of your bleeding disorder your haemophilia team may choose to give you factor replacement therapy or tablets before the tooth is extracted and a special mouthwash for afterwards. In addition the dentist will stitch the wound and use a special surgical packing to stop any bleeding. This method has been used very successfully for many years to overcome the problems previously associated with extracting teeth and has been recommended by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH).