Can Certain Medications Cause Damage To the Teeth?
Some of today’s most popular over-the-counter medications can cause damage to dentition, which is why Dr. Rekha Patil of Windsor Kids Dental, a children’s dentistry office in Cranbury, New Jersey, always recommends that patients let her know about any medications they’re taking.
The medication that a person is taking can have a real effect on his or her smile, even if that medication is an over-the-counter variety. Many people erroneously believe that only prescription medications can cause dental damage, and that they don’t need to inform their dentists about any over-the-counter pills they might be taking on a regular basis. This, unfortunately, is just not the case.
Even medications as seemingly innocuous as Aspirin can cause dryness of the mouth, which leads to cavities and decay. Dry mouth is a problem that the Cranbury children’s dentistry expert has been trying to warn people about for years, mainly because most people do not realize how serious dry mouth can be.
Dry mouth is a condition in which a person does not have enough saliva in his mouth. Saliva has an antibacterial property, and people who have dry mouth don’t have that factor present in their systems, explains Dr. Patil. Therefore, people with reduced saliva flow end up being more prone to cavities and decay.
When eliminating the medication is not an option – which it usually is not – Dr. Patil recommends trying a fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride rinse as a way to stimulate saliva and promote healthy teeth. The Cranbury children’s dentistry expert says that fluoride is a mineral, and it works by enhancing the strength of the dental enamel. When people brush or rinse with fluoride, their teeth become more resistant to decay and decalcification. Dr. Patil also recommends that people rinse their mouths out with warm water or a fluoride rinse after taking their medications each day. This simple act can significantly cut down on the negative effects associated with dry mouth.
One thing that men and women should never do is to stop taking their medications simply because they believe they may be causing dry mouth. A number of useful rinses, toothpastes, and products are available to stimulate saliva, and Dr. Patil emphasizes that it is never a good idea to get off of any medication without being under a doctor’s supervision. For more information on dry mouth and other side effects from common medications, Dr. Patil recommends contacting her children’s dentistry office in Cranbury.
*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.