Dental Tips Blog

Dec
6

How Your Medication Affects Oral Health

Medication easily becomes a part of our daily life. As we age, we need it more and more to encourage healthy bodily function and ward off sickness.

Side-effects are something you may simply have to put up with. Even if you can’t prevent these problems, you can keep them from doing damage to your smile!

Here’s what you need to know about three common oral side-effects of medication.

Dry Mouth

Allergy medications commonly cause dry mouth (xerostomia.)

This is more serious than it may sound. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it elevates your cavity risk because there isn’t saliva there to wash away acidic bacteria.

Make sure to stay hydrated. Chew a sugar-free gum with xylitol to stimulate salivation. Your dentist might also recommend saliva substitutes in severe situations.

Consider using an at-home fluoride rinse to keep your enamel strong.

Excessive Bleeding

Blood thinners make it easier for your gums to bleed.

When the thin skin of gums is disturbed, it may bleed more easily. Be careful to not blame all bleeding on your medication. If you have infections like gingivitis or periodontal disease, your gums are likely to bleed until it’s corrected.

A professional gum assessment will help you determine the real cause.

Gingival Hyperplasia

Say what?

That’s the term for excessive tissue growth.

Anti-seizure and immunosuppressant medications are commonly connected to this. Research indicates that if you keep gums very clean throughout the course of your medication, then you can keep the gum growth to a minimum. Excess gum tissue can be surgically removed later if necessary.

Let your dentist know about your current list of medications to get more specific recommendations for oral care.

Posted on behalf of:
Sycamore Hills Dentistry
10082 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 213-4400

Mar
27

You and Your Dry Mouth

So your mouth feels a little dry, but that’s not cause for concern – or is it? Xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth, is a reduction in saliva flow. It can range from being a problem you hardly notice to a complication you can’t ignore. At its worst, saliva loss can impact not just your oral health, but your overall well being.

What Causes Dry Mouth

In many cases, dry mouth is a side effect of over-the-counter or prescription medications. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, your dentist may be able to make recommendations to improve your salivary flow. If medication is not the culprit, then further investigation may be required todetect an underlying cause. Xerostomia may be the first symptom of a more serious illness.

Complications of Reduced Saliva

Dry mouth can often cause a persistent sore throat, hoarseness, dry sinuses and even lead to difficulties when swallowing or speaking. Not only does it affect your overall health, it can also have a great impact on your teeth, resulting in:

  • Tooth Decay or Loss
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Diminished Sense of Taste

Saliva plays a key role in keeping your mouth healthy and clean, by rinsing away food particles and cavity-causing bacteria. When the amount of your saliva is reduced, it creates an environment that encourages plaque and cavities to develop. Restoring saliva flow is vital for maintaining a healthy smile.

Dry Mouth Is Treatable

If you’re suffering from dry mouth, call your dentist and ask about options to reduce the symptoms. In the meantime, you can try increasing your water intake, avoiding salty foods, and rigorous oral hygiene. Prolonged symptoms could wreak havoc on your smile, so don’t delay in getting appropriate care.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Feb
10

Medications and Treatments That Affect Your Mouth

Do you recall the disclaimers at the end of drug commercials, where they discuss common side effects that are associated with taking that particular type of medication? Those side effects may often include dry mouth (xerostomia) but can also have other oral side effects as well.

Dry Mouth is a one of the most common side effects from prescription or over the counter medications. Drinking plenty of water, rinsing with dry mouth rinses or chewing gum containing Xylitol can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

Overgrowth of the gum tissue is fairly common for some types of blood pressure medications. This can appear to make the gums swollen and enlarged, even though there is no evidence of gingivitis or gum disease. The fibrous tissue otherwise appears healthy, with no bleeding or tenderness as with gingivitis. If the gingival overgrowth is severe it may interfere with oral hygiene or the wearing of prosthesis such as dentures or partial dentures. In rare circumstances the gum tissue may require some recontouring or removal by your dentist.

Asthma medication may be linked with increased tooth decay due to inhaling it directly against the teeth. After taking asthma medication it is important for you to rinse your mouth thoroughly with tap water. Using a fluoride rinse each day can help reverse some demineralization that has occurred with the use of the asthma medication.

Chemotherapy medications and radiation therapy can often lead to raw, sore, dry oral tissues due to radiation burns or destruction of the salivary glands. Using a topical fluoride each and every day is important in order to protect the health of the enamel and reduce the risk of tooth decay associated with cancer therapy.

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