How Your Medications Affect Your Oral Health

Posted on in Food & Health

The medicines we take sometimes affect our oral health.

We know that medicine can have side effects, but how they affect our oral health might not seem like an important consideration.

This is not the case.

Oral health has a major impact on our overall health, as studies continue to reveal. The medications you might be taking that are bringing you relief for other health issues could be causing dry mouth or other problems.

Which Medications?

Dry mouth is the most common oral side effect of some medications people take, and it is a serious problem. These medications include some that are used to treat depression and anxiety, pain, antihistamines, decongestants, diarrhea, and Parkinson’s disease. There is also a medication that is used to control seizures that can actual cause your gums to grow over your teeth to some extent, though it is not a commonly prescribed medication.

If you suffer from dry mouth, take extra care to protect your teeth. Avoid sticky, sugary foods; stay hydrated and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks; limit use of tobacco and alcohol; and brush at least twice and floss once daily. Ask your dentist about high-fluoride toothpaste with up to 5,000 PPM of fluoride, which may help combat dry mouth.

Talk To Your Dentist

When you visit your hygienist and dentist, be sure to let them know of any medications that you are taking. They’ll be able to see some of the side affects of dry mouth; telling them about your medications will help in identifying a cause. Your dentist can help combat dry mouth and give you tips on what needs to be done to protect your teeth and gums while you take the medication.

If dry mouth is caused not by the medication but an actual health issue that has damaged your salivary gland, your dentist will be able to focus on ways to increase saliva flow.