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Concerns

What type of tuberculosis (TB) do/did you have?

When was your TB diagnosed?

When did you start treatment for your TB?

Is your TB presently active?

What types of medications are you taking?

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What type of tuberculosis (TB) do/did you have?

TB is most commonly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It may infect different organs, but only pulmonary and laryngeal TB are of concern to dental providers, as the pathogen is transmitted by inhalation through aerosol.

When was your TB diagnosed?

It is important to establish the time of diagnosis to know when the patient’s treatment was initiated, as well as if the patient is compliant with the therapy.

Noncompliance may result in multidrug-resistant TB (MDRTB), which is associated with a high degree of morbidity and mortality.

When did you start treatment for your TB?

Treatment of TB usually lasts for several months. A noninfectious status may be present in as soon as 2-3 weeks after beginning treatment. However, the vast majority of patients are noninfectious only after 3-6 months of therapy.

Is your TB presently active?

Individuals having been exposed to or treated for TB may be in a nonactive (noninfectious) state, defined as three consecutive negative sputum samples.

Active (infectious) TB is associated with weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, chest pain, cough, cough with blood in the sputum, and production of mucopurulent sputum.

A positive purified protein derived (PPD) tuberculin skin test (Mantoux) indicates exposure to TB but does not determine infectivity.

What types of medications are you taking?

The more common medications for TB include isoniazid (INH), pyrazinamide, ethambutol, streptomycin, and rifampin.

Rifampin speeds up the metabolism of drugs given concomitantly, which may result in reduced efficacy of these medications.

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