While modern medicine is beneficial for curing and/or easing symptoms associated with medical and psychological conditions, they come with side effects. Taking daily medications can be potentially damaging to your oral health. You can’t avoid taking these medications in most cases, so it’s important for you to learn if your teeth are at risk and methods you can take to reduce the impact.
Some Medications Can Be Damaging to Your Teeth
Some medicines might be unavoidable, but you should be aware of the affects they have on your oral health. These medications may be purchased over the counter or prescribed by a physician. You have most likely taken one of these medications without knowing how they could negatively impact your teeth and oral health. The internet is a useful tool to review side effects of over the counter medications. For prescription medicine, side effects are listed on the information that you are given when you pick up your prescription. Review these side effects and consult with your doctor so that you are aware of the way that they may affect your overall health. If you are taking any medications routinely, be sure to let your dentist know as they will be able to advise you on ways to maintain your oral health and still take your medications.
Managing Dry Mouth Provoked by Medications
We tend to overlook dry mouth as it rarely feels uncomfortable, however this can lead to tooth decay. It is vital to your oral health that you produce saliva. If you’re body is not producing enough saliva, bacteria and plaque will build up and damage your gums and teeth. Medications that lead to dry mouth include… antihistamines, antidepressants, anti anxiety medications, anticonvulsants, diuretics, decongestants, inhalers, muscle relaxants, and painkillers. Stopping treatment is not recommended, you should look for ways to avoid getting dry mouth. Your dentist and doctor can help. One of the best ways to prevent dry mouth is to stay hydrated and drink an ample amount of water. You will likely have to up your water intake to balance the effects of your medications. Avoid consuming an excessive amount of caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods/beverages. In addition to drinking water, you can snack on sugarless candies and chew sugar-free gum to increase the amount of saliva your mouth is able to produce.
Protect Your Teeth While Still Taking Medications
Most cough drops, vitamins, and other medications are usually sweetened with sugar. While this makes them easier to take, it can leave a residue on your teeth making it more likely for your teeth to decay. They can stain your enamel and weaken your teeth and bones. Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and some antibiotics can also stain tooth enamel and antidepressants may lead to bone loss. To preserve your teeth while still taking your medications, brush your teeth after taking your medicine. You may want to talk to your doctor on ways to prevent bone loss.
Soft Tissue Can Also Be Impacted by Medications
Generally, the effects of your medications to your gums and tongue are not life-threatening, however they may cause discomfort. These are easy to treat and it is important for your to stay on top of them to avoid making the problems worse. Anti-seizure medications, immunosuppressants, calcium channel blockers can cause your gum tissue to overgrow. Aspirin, ibuprofen, nicorandill, penicillin, beta blockers, and chemotherapy drugs may cause mouth ulcers. Thrush, which is an oral yeast infection, can develop from taking antibiotics, corticosteroids, and some birth control pills.
It’s a Balancing Act
Medications are beneficial as they keep us functioning. If you have any concerns, discuss the side effects of your daily medications with your dentist and physician. As long as you maintain your teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth, you will be able to preserve your oral health and still taking your medications. Proper oral care includes regular visits to your dentist so that they can monitor your oral health and catch issues when/if they arise.
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About Torbeck Dental
Torbeck Dental treats every patient with dignity and excellent care. We are highly-trained dental professionals with exceptionally friendly and helpful service. We understand that for many, visiting a dentist can be a stressful experience so our comfortable surroundings and compassionate staff will ease any fears you may have. We are here to help you achieve your happiest and healthiest smile! Our dental team are a group experienced professionals using the latest treatments. Our team has the professional experience to realize that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all treatment, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your dental plan. We provide quality and personalized oral health care while keeping your individuality in mind. Our goal is to improve and maintain your oral health so you can smile with confidence!
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