Looking after your teeth and gums is important for everyone. As an LGBT patient there may be some specific health details that your dental team need to know about.
Data shows LGBT people are more likely to smoke than straight and cisgender people. If you do use tobacco you are more likely to have problems in your mouth. Gum disease and tooth loss are just some of the problems that can happen. Smoking and alcohol also increase the risk of mouth cancer – something your dentist will check for at every examination.
Other personal issues like mental health, substance use and eating disorders can also affect your oral health.
LGBT people are also affected by higher rates of HIV and hepatitis. HIV can lower the body’s ability to fight infection, and the side effects of some HIV medications can cause problems in the mouth.
Some transgender people may take hormones they have bought online, and some HRT medication can cause oral health problems. Because of this, it is important that trans patients feel able to discuss any possible oral health issues with their dentist.
Sometimes LGBT people experience unique stresses, and these can contribute to poor mental health. Poor mental health can also have a knock-on effect for oral health. People who suffer from anxiety or depression are less likely to keep to a daily oral health routine and are less likely to visit a dental practice regularly. This can lead to oral health problems.