Liver Disease and Dental Practice

  • Mark Greenwood
  • John G. Meechan
Part of the BDJ Clinician’s Guides book series (BDJCG)


  • Liver disorders are important to the dentist due to a potential bleeding tendency; intolerance to drugs, e.g. general anaesthetics and benzodiazepines; and the possibility of the underlying infective causes for the liver dysfunction.

  • Signs of liver disease include jaundice, spider naevi, leuconychia, finger clubbing, palmar erythema, Dupuytren’s contracture, sialosis and gynaecomastia.

  • The general anaesthetic agent halothane (now used infrequently) should not be given twice to the same patient within 3 months. A ‘halothane hepatitis’ is likely to result.

  • Dental sedation should only be performed in specialist units for patients with significant liver disease as small doses can lead to coma.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Greenwood
    • 1
  • John G. Meechan
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Dental SciencesNewcastle University School of Dental SciencesNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.The Coach HouseStocksfieldUK

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