Prescription Meds and Your Oral Health: What You Need to Know
You may not be particularly surprised to learn that reports by the Mayo Clinic indicate that nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication, with antidepressants and antibiotics leading the list.
What you may not know is that many medications – including antihistamines, herbal preparations, and even vitamins – can have a negative impact on your oral health.
Dr. Kai Liang and our team want you to be informed about the things that can affect your oral health. We are pleased to offer general and family dentistry in Alpharetta so you can maintain your healthy smile.
Dry Mouth and Prescription Medications
There are a variety of medications (both prescription and over the counter) that list dry mouth as a potential side effect. These include high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and decongestants. Not only is dry mouth annoying, but it can also create conditions that put you at risk for periodontal disease.
Saliva’s cleansing effect carries away food particles and kills harmful bacteria in your mouth. When saliva production is insufficient, food particles can linger and cavity-producing bacteria can flourish. Dryness also irritates the soft tissues in your mouth, leading to inflammation and making decay and infection more likely.
You don't have to put up with dry mouth, though. Let us know if it's a concern for you, and we can recommend a specific oral hygiene routine you can follow to minimize any discomfort. Other helpful methods for stimulating saliva production are drinking water or sucking on sugar-free candies.
Professional Dental Cleanings Are Key
Dry mouth can cause periodontal disease (gum disease), which can cause a lot of damage long before you're aware that it exists. That is why we strongly recommend dental cleanings and exams to keep your mouth healthy, especially when you're taking prescription medications.
As part of your regular cleaning at our Alpharetta dental office, our hygienist will carefully check your mouth and gums to monitor their condition and note any potential problems. This is the key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and disease-free.
Knowledge Is Power
We definitely aren't recommending that you stop taking medication prescribed by your doctor. Never stop taking medications without first discussing it with your primary care provider. As a rule of thumb, however, please tell Dr. Kai about any new medications you're taking so that we can adjust your treatment as necessary.
If you are putting up with the nuisance of dry mouth, please call Alpharetta Creek Restorative Dentistry to arrange a convenient appointment.