How Do Medications Affect My Oral HealthDiscover how some medications may affect your oral health, potentially contributing to a variety of dental issues.

Do you take medications and have oral health issues? Learn about medications that can have an impact on your oral health, the potential effects and importance of discussing all your medications with your dentist.

Medication and Oral Health

Medications and Dry Mouth

Some individuals experience sensitive teeth or gums, cavities or a feeling of having bad breath in spite of brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. When this happens, those affected likely feel frustrated and perplexed because these issues occur in spite of practicing a good oral health care routine.

A condition referred to as “Dry mouth” occurs when you take some medications. Mouth Healthy, a division of the American Dental Association (ADA) explains that normally, your saliva helps keep foods from collecting around your teeth and helps in neutralizing acids that are formed by plaque.

When a person takes medications that contribute to dry mouth, there is not enough saliva to perform those actions. The individual suffering from dry mouth is at risk for decayed teeth, as well as issues with the gums and soft tissues inside the mouth.

Medications that potentially cause dry mouth include:

  • Inhalers. If you use an inhaler that requires inhaling the medication through your mouth, you can get a painful fungus called thrush, appearing as white spots in your mouth.
  • Antihistamines. Antihistamines help reduce itching, sneezing and dries up mucous caused by allergies. That drying effect also possibly contributes to dry mouth.
  • Pain Medications. Prescription and over-the-counter pain medications increase the risk for developing dry mouth and other oral health issues.
  • High Blood Pressure Medications. Some high blood pressure medications increase the risk for dry mouth and other conditions, including enlarged gum tissue.
  • Antidepressants. Taking antidepressants sometimes has the unfortunate side effect of resulting in dry mouth. Although it may not seem important, let your dentist know if you take antidepressants.
  • Other Medications That Contribute To Dry Mouth. The American Dental Association (ADA) lists other medications that contribute to dry mouth, including medications for Parkinson’s disease, urinary incontinence and muscle relaxants.
  • Cancer Medications and Treatments And Your Oral Health. Notify your dentist before any dental procedure if you take any cancer medications or undergo treatments.

Dentists and medical teams sometimes work together to make sure a cancer patient has and maintains a healthy mouth while undergoing cancer treatments.

Some Medications Increase Risk Of Abnormal Bleeding

Anticoagulants, anti-inflammatory medications, even aspirin contribute to reduced blood clotting. Your dentist and any other oral health care providers need to know if you take any of these medications to prevent abnormal bleeding during oral health procedures, including oral surgery.

Keep Your Dentist Informed Of All Your Medications

Because of the risk of experiencing dry mouth, risk of abnormal bleeding and oral health risks while undergoing cancer treatments, it is critical to always keep your dentist informed of all medications that you take.

Notify our dentist in Flint MI when you start a new medication, including over-the-counter medicine, because your oral health matters!