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Oral health care considerations for patients with tuberculosis

  • Establish presence or absence of active disease.
  • Consider a patient as infectious if they have a positive sputum sample of for acid-fast bacilli and/or within the first 3 weeks of starting therapy for active TB.
  • Patients with 3 negative sputum samples collected within 24 hours is considered non-infectious.
  • Patients with active pulmonary or laryngeal disease: only perform emergency dental care. Avoid aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Patients with non-active pulmonary or laryngeal disease (history of TB or with a positive PPD but without signs and symptoms): no contraindications for dental care.
  • Refer patients with signs and symptoms of TB to a physician for evaluation.
  • Avoid acetaminophen-containing medication for patients taking rifampin as this combination of medications may increase liver toxicity.
  • Be aware of reduced efficacy of ketoconazole, fluconazole, diazepam, and glucocorticosteroids in patients taking rifampin.

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