Medications Can Affect Your Oral Health

Did you know that many medications have side effects that affect your oral health?

Some common effects include:

  • Dry mouth. Antihistamines cause a decrease in saliva, leaving your mouth prone to soft tissue inflammation, pain and infection. Combat dry mouth by drinking more water or using sugarless gum to stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • 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.

According to Everyday Health, more than 400 medications have the potential to cause dry mouth. The most common types of medications that cause dry mouth include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Pain medications
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Antacids

If you suffer from dry mouth, here are some types to relieve your symptoms:

  • Ask your dentist about an artificial saliva product.
  • Sip water throughout the day.
  • Skip or cut down on coffee, alcohol, soda, and tobacco.
  • Drink water when eating.
  • Suck on a piece of sugarless candy or chew a piece of sugarless gum.
  • Avoid eating salty or spicy foods.
  • Use a humidifier at night.

The American Dental Association recommends you talk to your local dentist about all the medications you currently take. That way, they can inform you about the possible side effects and what you can do to avoid any problems.