For many of us, using an over-the-counter or prescription medication is a part of daily life. Unfortunately, some of these medications can cause unwanted side effects that affect oral health. Today our Glendale dentists are going to be talking about what you can do to safeguard your smile, so let’s get started!
All kind of medications, from painkillers to antihistamines, can create dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth occurs when your body isn’t producing enough saliva to hydrate your mouth. The problem is that oral bacteria absolutely thrive in dry environments, so dry mouth actually makes it easier for oral bacteria to grow, multiply, and spread.
Acid reflux likewise damages your dental health. Acid reflux causes acids from your digestive tract to travel up through your esophagus and into your mouth. This means that your oral tissues and your teeth are coming into contact with potent stomach acid. This condition can cause your dental enamel to weaken and thing, and your gum tissue to break down. Acid reflux can also contribute to chronic bad breath.
Finally, certain medications, when used by children, can actually impact how your teeth develop in the first place. One example is tetracycline: when pediatric patients use this antibiotic, they risk developing adult teeth that are stained, pitted, or uneven. We strongly encourage our pediatric patients to find alternative treatments to tetracycline. Keep in mind that tetracycline does not negatively affect already existing permanent teeth.
If you are noticing unwelcome medication side effects in your own life, please don’t ignore the red flags. Your doctor can help you find a medication that works better for your, or they may recommend an additional treatment to counter-act the side effect. As always, our Glendale dentists are happy to give you additional information or support—just give our team a call!