Every day millions of us take medications without realizing that they can harm our teeth. Following are some of the most common problems they can cause.
Asthma Inhalers. These typically contain an aerosol form of medication that relaxes the muscles surrounding the airways, making it easier to breathe. However, studies show that it increases the risk of tooth decay and cavities, because of its acidic content.
Antibiotics. Tetracycline can cause brown stripes on the teeth when given to children before the age of eight. Unfortunately the stains are permanent, so check with your doctor if he/she prescribes antibiotics for your children.
Antihistamine Pills. Antihistamines work by preventing the body from producing the symptoms of allergy such as itching and sneezing. But it can also cause dry mouth, which can lead to gum disease. Teeth eventually loosen and can even fall out.
Blood Pressure Medication. These pills can cause the gums to overgrow, which can make it difficult to clean teeth properly. This can lead to gingivitis, which if not treated can lead to tooth loss. It happens over a period of three months or so in varying degrees.
Osteoporosis Drugs. The drugs commonly prescribed for osteoporosis can cause bone damage and infection in the jaw. Sometimes the drug can affect the blood supply to the bone supporting the teeth, causing the jaw to become weak, brittle or infected - a condition called bone necrosis.
Contraceptives. Some birth-control pills can lead to bleeding and inflammation of the gums. Plaque releases acids that damage tooth enamel and attack the gums, causing inflammation. Regular acid assaults on enamel can also lead to holes in cavities.
Antidepressants. This type of medication can cause dry mouth because they obstruct the molecules that activate the salivary glands. A particular type of antidepressant can also make the mouth more prone to bleeding. This is because they affect levels of platelets, the cells, which help the blood clot.
Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment and let’s discuss how your medications may be affecting your oral health!