Some forms of medication can affect your oral and dental health. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with three of these side effects.
According to mayoclinic.org, hundreds of medications cause dry mouth. Candidates include pain medication, antihistamines, and decongestants.
Unfortunately, you face a high risk of dental problems if your mouth is dry most of the time. Here are some of these problems:
- Gum disease
- Mouth sores
- Thrush (yeast infection)
- Bad breath
Fortunately, you can use the following tips to deal with your dry mouth:
- Have your doctor adjust or change your medication
- Keep hydrated
- Use oral moisturizers
The degree of intervention depends on how dry your mouth is. In many cases, your dry mouth condition will ease up once you stop taking the offending medication. Your dentist can advise you on other helpful tips.
Some medication, such as acidic or sugary medication, contributes to enamel erosion. Examples, according to webmd.com, include antihistamines and aspirin. Enamel erosion triggers multiple dental problems such as:
- Dental spots
- Weak teeth
- High risk of teeth decay
Apart from changing your medication, you can't do much to prevent your enamel erosion. If you already have damaged tooth enamel, talk to your dentist for treatment options. For example, you can get dental restorations such as dental bonding or veneers to cover up eroded teeth.
Some medications also cause your gums to grow abnormally fast and large. Dentists call the phenomenon as drug-induced gingival overgrowth (DIGO). According to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, some of the medications that trigger DIGO include immunosuppressants and anticonvulsants. Below are some of the dangers of DIGO:
- Difficulties with dental brushing and flossing
- Gum sensitivity and irritation that make eating painful
- Cosmetic concerns
Here are some tips for dealing with DIGO:
- Take time to brush and floss even if it's uncomfortable
- Ask your dentist for pain management drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Get periodic dental cleaning from your dentist
- Get gum surgery if the DIGO is extreme
In many cases, you may only need extreme intervention (such as surgery) if you can't change to alternative drugs and you have to take the offending ones for a long time.
Don't keep silent if you start experiencing unusual or extreme side effects of a drug. This advice applies even if the side effects affect other parts of your body other than your mouth. As for the oral or dental side effects, your dentist will be able to help you manage them after a candid consultation.
For more information, contact a dentist.