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How Medications Can Lead to Poor Gum Health

By Dr. Ribeiro on May 10, 2017

Prescription medicationHere at Clarksville Smiles, we feel that proper preventative care is an important part of comprehensive general dentistry. That's why we always share information about what patients can do to enhance the beauty and health of their smiles. In some instances, that just means being attentive and staying informed.

Take the use of medications, for example. It may surprise you, but certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs can lead to problems with your gum health. Let's cover the basics and then offer some insight.

Drug Side Effects Can Impact Your Dental Health

Many people don't realize that the medications they take can have a negative impact on their dental health. A number of different side effects can impact your teeth, your gums, and the overall condition of your mouth. Doctors will often go over the side effects of various drugs with their patients before they are prescribed, so you may find out that your drugs will affect your overall dental health.

The Dangers of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of medications that can result in poor dental health. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth occurs when there is not sufficient moisture in a person's mouth. This can lead to an increased risk for gum disease as well as exacerbated tooth decay and acidic erosion. This can then result in the spread of infection to various parts of the mouth and root canal infections.

Other Effects on Periodontal Health

In addition to causing dry mouth, some medications can cause people to experience inflamed gums, discoloration of the gums, sores in the mouth, and even thrush (an fungal infection of the mouth). This is why it's so important to go over all of the potential side effects of any medications you take.

Types of Medications That Can Affect the Gums

There are many different kinds of medications that can cause issues with the gums. This includes:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids

Should I Stop Taking These Medications?

No. Be sure to take your medications as directed like you normally would.

However, knowing the side effects and the potential risks you may face with regard to your dental health, it's important that you consider various ways to prevent dental health problems before they arise.

Tips for Preventing Dental Health Issues

To prevent problems related to medication side effects and heightened risk of tooth decay and gum disease, consider these simple tips:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
  • Floss after every meal
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco products
  • Chew sugar-free gum to promote saliva production
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups

Remember the Importance of Proper Hydration

The most important thing we want to stress is the importance of hydration. Be sure to drink water throughout the day to quench your thirst and to make sure your body is functioning properly. Water will hydrate you, and will ensure you are salivating properly. Water can also clean the mouth and prevent excessive acidity in the mouth. This can go a long way toward promoting general wellness and improving your overall dental health.

Learn More About Periodontal Health

If you would like to learn more about improving your periodontal health and enhancing your smile, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at our practice looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.

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Dr. Ribeiro has been my dentist for many years, and he has always provided exceptional service. His staff is very professional and courteous. They always go out of their way to ensure I have a pleasant experience. Tina Reed

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Clarksville Office

2305 Rudolphtown Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043

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Clarksville Office

2305 Rudolphtown Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043

More Info Directions (931) 645-6362