It is common for medical treatments to have side effects on our bodies. Not only can they have a negative effect on our general health, but also on our oral health. Dr. Hmeidan lists the categories of medications that are likely to cause dental problems. It is important they be acknowledged as they could include common medications.
Medications that can damage teeth and gums
According to Dr. Hmeidan, there is a general list of medications that are known to possibly cause damage to teeth and gums. The list includes the following:
- Antidepressants – this large family of medicines can cause dry mouth and increase the risk of tooth decay
- Antihistamines – can cause dry mouth, and an increased risk of gum problems
- Antihypertensives – can lead to an increased risk of gum swelling and overgrowth
- Aspirin – chewing aspirin can directly damage the tooth enamel, as aspirin is acidic. Always take aspirin strictly as directed. The tablets should be swallowed whole with water, not placed beside a tooth or near the gums
- Asthma medications – some asthma medications are highly acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel if used regularly over a long period of time
- Chemotherapy medications – can cause a dry mouth and lead to an increased risk of gum problems and oral inflammation
- Immunosuppressive medications – can lead to an increased risk of gum problems and mouth infections
- Oral contraceptives – can lead to an increased risk of gum problems
- Syrups – medicated syrups that contain sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay if teeth are not brushed after these syrups are taken
- Bisphosphonates (for osteoporosis) and monoclonal antibodies such as denosumab (for bone problems) – can cause severe problems in the jaw bones, such as non-healing painful ulcers antibiotics – large or prolonged doses of antibiotics can cause oral thrush.
Some medications can cause the gum tissue to thicken and grow over the teeth. This condition is called ‘gingival hyperplasia’. Medications linked to an increased risk of gingival hyperplasia include epilepsy medications, cyclosporin (organ transplant rejection drug), some blood pressure medications and calcium channel blockers. Medications can also alter the taste in the mouth.
Always make sure to consult your dentist or your oral care professional before taking any medicine
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