Prescription Medication and Oral Health
In short, medications are given to advance one’s health or to manage disease or illness. Yet, prescription medications do have side effects, some of which are negative concerning teeth and oral health. This is why doctors suggest becoming familiar with the side effects before beginning a medication. Even so, in some instances, it is important for individuals to take certain medications, despite their effects. Here is what you need to know about prescription medications and oral health.
To begin, prescription medications do not directly cause tooth decay. Rather, they lead to other conditions that make one susceptible to it. As an example, consider the most commonly prescribed medications—antidepressants, painkillers and antibiotics. All of these could lead to dry mouth, or xerostemia. With a decreased flow of saliva, bacteria linger on gums and other soft tissues. As tissues “dry out,” they become irritated and inflamed. Consequently, this leads to infection and tooth decay.
Aside from the above-mentioned medications, others are known to result in dry mouth. Antacids are one example. While most individuals take an antacid to prevent or treat acid reflux, both chewable tablets and liquid forms contain sugar. As a result, tooth enamel is weakened. In turn, pain medications also contribute to dry mouth, as well as antihistamines and decongestants. Specifically, antihistamines impair the flow of saliva. While they might be needed to prevent an allergic reaction, they can lead to cavities and even tooth discoloration when used over time.
Interestingly, blood pressure medications also increase one’s chances of developing dry mouth, along with diuretics, beta and calcium blockers and heart medications. Furthermore, these types of medications are linked to swelling and inflammation of the gum tissues. When gums are puffy, it is easier for bacteria and plaque to hide. Unfortunately, if not removed, plaque leads to tooth decay, cavities and periodontal gum disease.
In regards to prescription medications and their effects on your oral and dental health, dentists want you to know—it’s possible to prevent damage with a simple regimen and commitment to regular dental care.
A Wonderful Dental Experience Awaits You
If it’s been some time since your last dental appointment, or if you suspect that a prescription medication is causing you to experience dry mouth, Dr. William Capati DMD and the team at Sugar Creek Family Dental welcome your call today. With a commitment to preventative dentistry in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, a wonderful dental experience awaits you. Call Sugar Creek Family Dental today.
Posted on behalf of Sugar Creek Family Dental