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September 17, 2014

If you take an anticoagulant drug for your heart and you need dental surgery, should you stop taking the medication so you won't start bleeding in the dentist's chair?

Lots of people thought so -- until the Journal of the American Dental Association reported on a recent study.

Of 950 patients who among them had 2,400 dental procedures and continued taking anticoagulant drugs, only 12 needed anything more than a plug with a bit of cotton to stop the bleeding.

But of 526 patients who stopped taking their medications, five had heart problems that could have been prevented if they hadn't stopped the anticoagulant.

So unless your doctor tells you otherwise, don't stop taking anticoagulants before you go to the dentist.

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