West Seattle Dentist: Your Medications are Causing Your Tooth Decay

Common Medicines Affecting the Mouth

You seem to be having tooth decay issues more often than before or experiencing dryness of the mouth, swelling gums, discolored teeth, mouth sores and other nuisances. You may not know it but the medications you’re taking may be the ones causing your mouth woes. Many are common, everyday medicines that you take for your condition to stay healthy. If at the same time, they cause mouth problems, then it’s time you ask your dentist.

Did you know that many meds cause mouth dryness? Not a major condition but it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Antacids, like Tums, Prilosec, and Alka-Seltzer, used to neutralize stomach acids, cause dry mouth and besides are also sugary. Both after-effects weaken teeth causing decay and gum disease. Better cut-down on antacids, choose the sugar-free forms, and brush and floss regularly to avoid more damage.

NSAIDs and other pain relievers can also cause dry mouth, especially if you are taking them for chronic pain relief as in cases of arthritis. To counter this, you must take water frequently, chew sugarless gum, and practise dental hygiene faithfully. Antihistamines for allergy also cause dry mouth and dry tongue because they block saliva release. Decongestants, for allergies and the common cold, are the same but for cough syrups, have an added acidic property that can erode enamel. Hydrate frequently and practice oral hygiene still more, especially using fluoride toothpaste.

If you are taking beta blockers, ca channel blockers, diuretics, and ACE-inhibitors for your hypertension, ask your doctor to switch you to other options with less mouth-drying effects. On the other hand, long-term corticosteroid use (for asthma, COPD, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis) has been shown to cause dental pulp calcification or pulp stones which manifest as the pulp is irritated by these drugs. Pulp diseases can cause sudden, intense pain, mouth infections, dental abscess, and a hardening of the pulp tissue that’s so severe a root canal is required.

Keeping Oral Health while Medicating in West Seattle

Know more about how you can cope with the dental side effects of common medications you might be taking. Turn to your West Seattle dentist at First Impressions Dental and Denture for a consultation on how to manage dental issues arising from taking certain prescription drugs.