Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Adverse effect of certain medication on oral health

Many medications can cause bothersome oral side effects.In addition to prescribed and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements can also cause oral health problems.

Some of the most common side effects from medications that affect oral health include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Altered taste
  • Inflammation, mouth sores, or discoloration of the soft tissues in your mouth
  • Enlarged gums
  • Cavities
  • Teeth and gum color changes
  • Bone loss
  • Thrush, or an oral yeast infection
Medications That Can Cause Dry Mouth

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • High blood pressure medications (including diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors)
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Pain medications
  • Parkinson's disease medications
  • Antacids
What to do about dry mouth: If dry mouth is severe as a result of your medication, you can ask your doctor to switch your medication to something else. If that isn't recommended, here are some tips to help alleviate dry mouth symptoms:
  1. Ask your doctor or dentist about using an artificial saliva product.
  2. Sip water or any type of sugarless drink throughout the day.
  3. Skip or cut down on caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco because they contribute to a dry mouth.
  4. Drink water or a sugarless drink while eating to make swallowing and chewing easier.
  5. Suck on sugarless candy or gum to promote saliva production.
  6. Avoid salty and spicy foods, which can cause pain to an already dry mouth.
  7. Use a humidifier at night.
Medications That Can Cause Abnormal Bleeding

Aspirin and anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, lessen the ability for blood to clot. While they're helpful in preventing heart attacks and stroke, they can cause your gums to bleed, especially during oral surgery.

What to do about abnormal bleeding: Be sure to let your dentist know that you are taking these drugs so that precautions can be taken to minimize bleeding. Also, be sure to use a soft tooth brush and gentle motions when brushing and flossing your teeth to lessen the bleeding.

Medications That Can Alter Taste

Certain drugs can leave a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth. And some medications may simply change the taste of the things you eat. Such medications include:
  • Cardiovascular drugs (some beta blockers and calcium channel blockers)
  • Central nervous system stimulants
  • Flagyl (metronidazole), an antibiotic drug
  • Nicotine skin patches for smoking cessation
  • Some respiratory inhalants
What to do about taste changes: If this side effect is intolerable, ask your doctor if your medication can be changed.

Medications That Can Cause Soft Tissue Reactions

You can develop inflammation, mouth sores, or discoloration of the soft tissues in your mouth when taking the following prescribed drugs:
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Immunosuppressive agents
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Certain chemotherapy medications
What to do about soft tissue reactions: Let your dentist know if you are taking any of these medications so he or she can recommend a special dental care regimen to reduce the discomfort.

Medications That Can Cause Gums to Enlarge

Enlarged gums, also known as gingival overgrowth, can occur when you take:
  • Antiseizure medications (such as those for epilepsy)
  • Immunosuppressant drugs (typically used after organ transplantations)
  • Calcium channel blockers (for cardiovascular conditions)
What to do about enlarged gums: While taking these medications, you'll need to take extra care when brushing and flossing. Ask your dentist for specific dental care instructions.

Medications That Can Increase the Risk of Cavities

Many medications, especially those given to children, contain sugar. Sugar is also found in antacid tablets, antifungal agents, cough drops, and many chewable tablets, such as vitamins. 
  • What to do about sugar in medications:
  • If possible, take the medication in tablet form.
  • Take the medications at mealtimes.
  • Avoid taking the medication right before bed.
  • Make sure you or your children brush with a fluoride toothpaste or chew sugarless gum after taking the medication.
  • Seek regular preventive dental care.
Medications That Can Change Teeth and Gum Color

Certain drugs can change the color of your teeth or gums. For example, minocycline (which is used to treat acne) can cause an area of black pigmentation on your gums and a black or gray discoloration of your teeth. Chlorhexidine, a mouth rinse used to treat gum disease, can also stain your teeth.

What to do about gum or teeth discoloration: If a medication has discolored your teeth, ask your dentist about tooth-whitening procedures that may help.

Medications That Can Cause Bone Loss

Use of corticosteroids, such as prednisone, and antiepileptic drugs, can lead to the loss of bone that supports your teeth. Bisphosphonates, drugs used to treat osteoporosis, can sometimes cause a rare condition called osteonecrosis of the jawbone, which results in destruction of the jawbone. Symptoms include painful, swollen gums or jaw, loose teeth, jaw numbness, a heavy feeling in the jaw, fluid in the gums and jaw, and exposed bone.

What to do about osteonecrosis: Be sure to tell your dentist if you are taking a drug for osteoporosis. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to slow your bone loss.

Medications That Can Cause Thrush

Thrush, also known as an oral yeast infection, is caused by a fungus (Candida) and appears as white lesions on the mouth and tongue. Taking antibiotics, steroids, or chemotherapy can cause thrush.

What to do about thrush: Your dentist may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash or lozenges to treat the infection. If these don't work, stronger antifungal medications can be prescribed.

Behavior-Altering Drugs and Oral Health

Behavior-altering drugs, such as psychotropic drugs, can cause lethargy, fatigue, or memory impairment. If you are taking any of these type of medications, take steps to help you remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly — whether that means setting an alarm, leaving yourself a note, or some other reminder method.

Never stop taking a psychotropic medication without first consulting your doctor. If a drug is causing bothersome oral health side effects, let your doctor know. In many cases, you may be able to take a different type of medication or make lifestyle changes that minimize the side effects. And, as always, take care of your mouth by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, getting regular dental checkups, and treating any problems that arise.


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    never manage to get nearly anything done.

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  3. This is an amazing post that mentions every aspect of adverse effect of it. Still I feel that it is not that all medicines have adverse effect. And the prescribed medicines taken in proper doses helps to cure dental problems.

  4. Still i feel that it is not that all medicines have adverse effect.
    my mouth brust with the bad smell

  5. I didn't know most of these. I've felt some of these effects before, but never really understood where they came from. I'll have to talk to my dentist about what I take. I'm actually going to be going to a different dentist because I just moved. My friend told me about his dentist ( so I may go there.

  6. This is great post.My teeth is yellow but i agree it color white.please give me solution.i like this rod case

  7. I was very careless for my health. Finally i lost my teeth in very young age. Now i consulted dentist Torrance for oral issues and anyhow he manages to treat my teeth well.

  8. There are so many teeth problem that are easily remove by the follow teeth whitening tips. Teeth are very important part of our body so don't ignore it.

  9. Good day Sir, I learned a lot from this post, just wanna add also how about the pale gums? I would like to share this to all My friends so they can learn from this article too. Thanks a lot.
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  10. Your mode of describing the whole thing in this article is truly nice,
    every one be capable of easily know it, Thanks a lot.

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  11. Thanks for sharing such a useful information. Keep sharing :)

  12. Thanks for sharing such informative article with us. Medication can have a adverse effect on mouth and even on health. Dental checkup from professional dentist can be a better option to take dental hygiene more effectively. Our dentist in Newmarket offer you with the confidence to make a lasting first impression.

  13. You are absolutely right. My dentist also does the same and his staff is just wonderful. Anyway thanks for sharing an interesting topic.
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  14. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
    It's the little changes that produce the most significant changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Nice information provided, many thanks for posting. And it is always better to visit nearest dentist for any kind of oral problem.

  16. The dentist has treated my each and every need. The procedure was painless, and I haven't had any trouble at all. He is always ahead of the curve in terms of latest technology and equipment

  17. Thanks for sharing this. I don't often consider the effect of medication on my health. Especially not oral medication! I imagine my emergency dentist will be happy to know that I"m doing my homework! Thiago |

  18. It's smart to be aware of the effects of medication you are taking on any part of your life, and I think people easily forget that medications can affect their teeth, gums or mouth as well. We take care of all sorts of dental issues in emergency situations at Emergency Dentists USA, come check us out if you're struggling to find a dentist, thanks. Great Article.

  19. I love the way you write your post. Each and everything is simply perfect. Thanks

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  21. I know this website gives quality based posts and other material, is there any other website which presents these data in quality?So then please tell me i will share it with my friends...Thanks a lot.

    Welcome to Vero Beach Dentist, office of Port St. Lucie dentist, Dr. Alex Planes. We are glad you have chosen us for your oral health needs and hope that every encounter with our office and staff exceeds your expectations. - Visit their website now!

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  26. Having a dry mouth problem is really common to us. The adverse effect that you have stated in your blog is ideal for individual to know because it gives an awareness on how to get rid of this problem. Sometimes we really need proper visit to our Dentist in order to have a regular check up on our oral condition.

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