Can medications affect the health of my teeth?

Dental Restoration

The simple answer to this question is yes. There are certain types of medication that can cause damage to your teeth in a variety of ways. Some of this damage is short-lived and can be fixed while other situations can become permanent.

But let’s dig deeper into the why, how, and what medications can compromise your oral health. 

There are hundreds of medications that have dry mouth as a potential side effect. This can directly impact the health of your teeth due to the limitation of saliva this causes. When saliva cannot flow freely, its infection-fighting powers are not readily available. Gum infections and tooth decay can result. Here are a few examples of common medications that are known to cause dry mouth:

  • Antacids
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Decongestants
  • Pain medication
  • Sedatives

If you are taking one of these or any other medication where dry mouth is a common side effect, here are a few tips on how to keep a healthy level of saliva: 

  • Increase your water or sugarless drink intake. Even small sips throughout the day can make a big difference. 
  • Limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, as these can further contribute to dry mouth. 
  • Eliminate tobacco use. Not only is this a good choice for your teeth and body in general, it’s another contributor to dry mouth.
  • Utilize a humidifier, especially at night. 
  • Increase saliva production by sucking on sugarless candy. 

Hormonal Changes and Gum Sensitivity

Birth control pills can also compromise oral health. Anytime you regularly ingest a medication that changes hormone levels, gums can become increasingly sensitive to plaque bacteria. This bacteria, if left untreated, can lead to complications such as cavities and periodontal disease.  

At South University Dental, we encourage all patients to let us know about medications you take, adjustments in dosage, and/or any changes that have occurred with your overall health. 

Trust the professionals at Restorative Dentists at South University Dental.

Are you concerned about your medication having a negative impact on your teeth? The professionals at South University Dental in Fargo can help you create a winning strategy that minimizes the negative impact of certain medications on your teeth and gums. If you’re looking for premium quality dental care in the Red River Valley, email our office or call (701) 232-8884. One of our friendly team members will happily help you schedule a convenient appointment time.