Prepared by Michael McCullough, Chair, Therapeutics Committee, Australian Dental Association

Most dentists are unlikely to ask about the use of complementary medicines when taking their patients' medical histories, however many of these medicines have potentially significant interactions with commonly prescribed drugs. Of particular note is the frequency that many of these medications interact with anticoagulants, particularly warfarin. Many 'blood-thinning' herbal products could result in significant bleeding after not only major oral surgery, but also minor oral procedures. It is therefore advisable that dentists obtain information regarding their patients' use of herbal or complementary medications. However, the routine recommended local measure of haemostatic material in the socket, suture and tranexamic acid as a mouthwash usually controls any bleeding.