Can Beta-Blockers Cause Dry Mouth?
Certain medications, including beta-blockers, can have a negative impact on people’s oral health by causing dry mouth. Unfortunately, Dr. David Leslie says that the answer to fixing the problem isn’t as simple as recommending that a patient stop taking whatever beta-blocker he or she is on.
A dentist in Bradenton, Florida, Dr. Leslie explains that very few patients are taking beta-blockers and similar medications electively. Rather, these patients are on heart medications because their primary care physicians have prescribed them. If a patient were to go off of his beta-blocker, there is no telling what the result could be.
For those who have never heard of the term “beta-blockers” before, it is a general name used to describe a class of medications that can be used to manage various heart ailments, including cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks, and hypertension. Beta-blockers serve a very important role in the lives of people who take them, and Dr. Leslie says that even a dentist cannot deny that dental health has to take a backseat to pressing heart health needs.
Because Dr. Leslie’s office is located in the sunny Bradenton area, he is a dentist who has many elderly patients that rely on beta-blockers and other prescription medications to get through the day. With that in mind, Dr. Leslie would never recommend that a patient at his practice stop taking a particular medication purely because it causes dry mouth.
Of course, Dr. Leslie rarely recommends that a patient with dry mouth sit back and do nothing either. Once he has ascertained the cause – and determined that a particular medication is causing a patient’s dry mouth – Dr. Leslie will recommend a saliva-inducing agent.
Dr. Leslie says that there are dozens of products available over the counter to help stimulate saliva and keep the saliva going. Sometimes the solution to a patient’s dry mouth problem is as simple as introducing a particular type of sugar-free gum into his diet. Other times, the solution is somewhat more complex.
One product that many of Dr. Leslie’s patients have had success with is a mouthwash that is put out by a company called Biotene. Biotene makes a number of products for people with dry mouth that many dentists recommend, says Dr. Leslie.
At his office in Bradenton, Dr. Leslie is a dentist who actually offers trial packs full of products intended to help encourage saliva flow. Patients can try out various types of mouthwashes, toothpastes, and gums before deciding which product will work best. Once a patient makes a decision on which product he likes best, he can head to almost any pharmacy and pick up the product on his own for a very low price.
If a patient with dry mouth decides to avoid the situation entirely, then the results can be dire. Because saliva is used to wash the teeth and the gums – and because it contains important antibodies that the body needs – there is a good chance that people with dry mouth will begin to develop decay problems and gum problems if their condition goes untreated for a lengthy period of time.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.