Jun 3

How Medication Side Effects Impact Gum Health

Medications and Poor Gum Health - Charlotte, NC

Posted on June 3, 2017 — by Dr. Pinnix

Different kinds of pillsThe team at our Charlotte dental care center is well-equipped to handle many different dental health needs. We can treat various issues that affect the teeth and the gums, offering advanced restorative dentistry treatments as well tips for proper prevention. Our team can even offer pointers on unexpected causes of dental problems.

With that in mind, we'd like to consider how certain medications can have a negative impact on your dental health and wellness. In particular, different kinds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can make gum disease and gum recession more likely.

Medication Side Effects Can Impact Dental Health

While there are many medications that can help improve our health and fight illnesses, these drugs can have unfortunate side effects. Sometimes these side effects can lead to dental health problems, including increased risk of periodontal disease, gum recession, and tooth decay.

There are plenty of side effects that can have a profound impact on your general wellness, but in terms of dental health, there's one side effect that can be especially bad for your teeth and gums. We're talking about dry mouth (xerostomia).

The Dangers of Dry Mouth

When your mouth fails to produce enough saliva, it can make your mouth feel uncomfortable. This could lead to problems eating and speaking. This dryness in the mouth is also an ideal condition for oral bacteria to thrive. That means that a heightened risk for gum disease as well as the spread or progression of gum disease. Tooth decay and acidic erosion can also be exacerbated by the lack of saliva in the mouth.

Over a prolonged period of time, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, which can lead to the loss of tissue along the gumline, loose teeth, tooth loss, and the spread of infection to other structures of the mouth.

Medications That Can Affect the Gums

There are different kinds of medications that commonly lead to the above side effects. They include the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids

Should I Stop Taking My Medication?

No, certainly not.

If you are prescribed any sort of medications or are asked to take certain over-the-counter medications, be sure to take them as directed. However, it's important that you discuss any side effects of your medications with your doctor to find out how to prevent serious dental health issues and general health problems that may arise as a result. By knowing what to expect, you can adjust accordingly.

Hydration Is a Key to Dental Wellness

If your medications cause dry mouth, it's important that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink water when you're thirsty or when you notice your mouth is dry. This can help promote saliva production and prevent ideal conditions for oral bacteria to wreak havoc. It's a simple but important option for staying healthy.

Tips for Preventing Periodontal Disease and Gum Recession

If you run a risk of dry mouth, consider these tips for preventing periodontal health problems:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
  • Floss after every meal
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco products
  • Consider an artificial saliva product
  • Use a humidifier during sleep
  • Chew sugar-free gum to promote salivation

Contact Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

If you would like more information about treating serious dental health issues that affect the gums and overall wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney is here to help you smile with renewed confidence.

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