Can Medications Affect Oral Health?
When we are prescribed a medication for our overall health, we are mainly thinking about the relief it will provide or how it will improve a medical condition. When we learn about side effects from a medical professional, we are typically concerned with how they affect overall health. Very little is ever mentioned about how medications may affect your oral health. We want to bring awareness to the fact that many medications, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, can have lasting effects on your teeth and mouth that can significantly impact the future of your oral health. We want to share some of the common side effects and tips to help your oral health:
Be Honest With Us About Your Health
When you visit our office for a routine examination or dental treatment, be sure to inform us of any changes to your medical health or if you have recently started taking a new medication. Certain medical treatments require prescription medication before we can start any dental work, and some medications may need to be stopped prior to treatment.
You would be surprised at the number of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can lead to problems with dry mouth. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which you need to wash away food from your mouth and help prevent harmful tooth decay. Prolonged dry mouth can lead to recurring tooth decay as well as gum disease. To help combat dry mouth, we recommend increasing your water intake.
Certain medications, such as blood thinners, cause your gums to bleed easily. Typically, bleeding gums is a sign of a condition such as gum disease. If you regularly take a medication that causes bleeding gums, we don’t want you to be alarmed if you notice regular bleeding, especially after brushing and flossing your teeth or following a routine dental cleaning.
The next time you are prescribed medication, remember to ask how it can affect your oral health. If your doctor or pharmacist can’t answer your questions, don’t hesitate to call our office located in Bowie, MD. We are happy to help!