Your oral health largely affects your overall health. Although this is understood by most, many people still do not know how common medications affect their mouths and oral health. To stay healthy, it is essential that your mouth and body are both well taken care of. Consider these effects of medications on your mouth, and see a general dentist in Miami Springs if you have any questions or concerns.
Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition that reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth to an uncomfortable level. While there are over 400 medications that cause this condition, some include, antidepressants, lung inhalers, seizure medications, narcotic pain medications, and common blood pressure and heart medications. Additionally, anti-nausea, anti-spasm and motion sickness medications can cause dry mouth when used. When there is not enough saliva in the mouth, your risk for tooth decay and gum disease increase. If you are experiencing dry mouth, be sure to drink plenty of water or chew a piece of sugarless gum to relieve symptoms.
While most medications do not cause tooth decay directly, the side effects can weaken tooth enamel and lead to greater consequences. Often times, medications used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases can cause nausea and vomiting. This exposes the teeth to stomach acids, which cause tooth decay and increases incidence of dental caries. Additionally, many common medications have sugar in them as an added ingredient. Most cough drops, antacids and aspirin all add sugar to improve the taste of the medication. Over time, this can wear down the enamel on your teeth.
Mouth Sores, Ulcers, or Canker Sores
Mouth sores ulcers or canker sores can occur inside the mouth and on the tongue. These sores often have a hole in the middle. Essentially, this hole is a break in the mucous membrane, or moist tissue, in the mouth. There are a number of medications that can cause these sores. Chemotherapy medications such as Campath, Xeloda and 5-FU are known to cause these sores. In addition, common medications are also linked to causing these breaks and sores in the mouth. These include Aspirin, Penicillin, and Sulfondmides.
Also known as gingival over growth, gum swelling is a common side effect of some medications. Gum swelling occurs when the swollen gum tissue begins to grow over teeth. Swollen gum tissue can easily attract bacteria, and damage surrounding tooth structures. Additionally, overgrown gums can increase the risk pf periodontal disease. Medications known to cause gum swelling are seizure medications, Cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant, and certain blood pressure medications. Those with existing dental plaque as well as men are more at risk for being affected by gum swelling. To help fight this condition, practice excellent oral hygiene and visit your dentist as often as every three months.
Stay Healthy with a General Dentist in Miami Springs
If you are currently taking any medications on a regular basis, it is a good idea to check in with a general dentist in Miami Springs to ensure your mouth is healthy. Contact Springs Dental to make sure your teeth and mouth remain healthy. Visiting a dentist can help prevent oral health and overall health problems when it comes to the side effects of your medication.