Your Medication and their effect on Your Teeth

Your Medication and their effect on Your TeethFrom antihistamines to over-the-counter painkillers, almost everyone regularly takes medication in one form or another.  While these prescription and OTC medications do fill some very important roles, they can also have an effect on teeth that very few patients realize.  Our Los Angeles dentist believes that everyone should understand what their medications may be doing to their oral health and a few of the small steps they can take to minimize its effects.

The most common problem with many medications is a decrease in saliva production.  Saliva is a very important component of the mouth as it aids in eating, digestion, and washing away debris and plaque.  Many medications, including antihistamines, have a tendency to cause persistent dry mouth.

Pills that treat high blood pressure, oral contraceptives, and some chemotherapy drugs can irritate gums.  This may include inflammation, sores, excessive bleeding, or discoloration.  Aspirin and anticoagulants may exacerbate issues with swollen gums by increasing the chances of bleeding.  Some of the medications that contain tetracycline may even cause a permanent discoloration of the teeth if taken in large amounts or during various stages of tooth development.

These symptoms and side effects make it absolutely necessary to keep an open line of communications with our dentist during every dental exam.  Many of the most common side effects, such as dry mouth, can be remedied by changing toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even dietary habits.  We will also be able to work closely with you to ensure that any lesions, cuts, or bleeding are not a precursor to more serious oral health conditions.

To learn more in how medication can affect your oral health, visit

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