How Medication Alters Your Dental Health

Medications often come with a guarantee of side-effects. Any standard bottle of pills has a list of them right on the side for you to read. Go ahead and read as many of them as you can. Chances are you’ll find quite a few that list oral-related side effects. Those symptoms can range from moderate to severe, depending on the medications. What are some of the effects of medication on oral care?

Effects of Medication on Oral Care

“Cotton” mouth How Medication Alters Your Dental Health

Also known as Xerostomia or dry mouth, “cotton” mouth can make swallowing or even speaking difficult. This occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, and your mouth dries out. It isn’t severe on its own, but it has been known to cause more significant problems such as infection, inflammation, or gum disease. Just put: without enough saliva, your mouth becomes vulnerable to bacterial infection.

Dry mouth is one of the most common dental health medication effects. Here are just a few examples of drugs that can dry your mouth out:

  • Antihistamines
  • antidepressants/anti-anxiety
  • Asthma inhalers
  • Acne Medication
  • Parkinson’s medication
  • Heart medication

If you take any of these treatments, make sure to drink lots of water. Also, sugar-free gum like Ice Chips is a good option. Not only do they help produce saliva, but they also influence the growth of good bacteria in your mouth and ultimately can help battle tooth decay.

 

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Taste change

Interestingly enough, some of the pills you take can alter the taste of food. While this is easily the mildest on this list, it could quickly ruin what would generally be a delicious meal for you. The taste changes can range from salty or bitter to earthy or metallic.

A few examples of possible culprits are:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-fungal
  • Blood pressure/cholesterol-lowering drugs

The list goes on, but the truth is that it’s widespread and nothing to worry about. So, plan your meals accordingly.

Canker sores

We’ve all had mouth sores a time or two in our lives, but certain drugs can cause them directly. Although they’re an uncomfortable nuisance, mouth sores aren’t severe side effects and can usually be treated with oral creams and antibiotics, but dental laser therapy removal is also an option.

Only a few types of drugs are known for causing mouth ulceration, and those include:

  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Aspirin and other painkillers

Swelling and Inflammation

You may have excellent oral hygiene and take great care of your teeth, but it’s still possible to experience gum swelling or “gingival overgrowth.” Some medications can damage the lining of your mouth and gums, causing them to swell and turn red. It can also be somewhat uncomfortable.

Treatments for seizures and immunosuppressants can be linked to swelling, and chemotherapy treatments can cause inflammation in the lining of the mouth. Inflammation is also known as “mucositis” and your chances of experience it greatly increases if you smoke or drink alcohol. It can also worsen if you suffer from diabetes, HIV, or kidney issues.

Bleeding

Your mouth is vulnerable to cuts and sores, so when medication hinders your ability to clot, you’re at risk for excessive bleeding. It’s especially dangerous during oral surgery when an incision is made because the heavy bleeding can make you sick or even pose a potential risk of suffocation.

Blood thinners and aspirin can cause heavy bleeding, and since aspirin can also cause open sores in your mouth, taking aspirin puts you at a higher risk for abnormal oral bleeding.

Reduce Your Worry with a Dental Visit

Although these medication effects are rather common, you’ll be fine as long as you remember the most important parts of your oral health: taking care of your teeth and visiting the dentist regularly. Medication can alter your dental health in a minor way, but scheduling an appointment with Balle & Associates is best way to ensure a quality smile.