Are Your Medications Affecting Your Oral Health?

Multiple medications, including those prescribed by your doctor and many over the counter – can affect your health.  Being aware of how to treat these side effects will help maintain your overall oral health.

The most common side effect of medications is dry mouth.  Your saliva helps to keep food from collecting around your teeth and counterbalances the acids produced by plaque.  The acid can wreak havoc on the hard surfaces of your teeth.  Having a dry mouth also increases your risk for tooth decay.  The soft oral tissues inside your mouth – check lining, gums, tongue – can also be affected by the medications as well.  Medications that require inhaling, can cause a fungal infection called oral candidiasis.  Many refer to this as thrush.  It appears as white spots in your mouth and can sometimes be painful.  Be sure to rinse your mouth after using your inhaler to help prevent this infection.

Patients seeking cancer treatment are also at risk for possible oral health issues.  It is best to see your dentist before beginning treatment.  Your dentist will have the opportunity to ensure your mouth is healthy and if necessary, can prescribe treatments to help maintain optimal your oral health during your treatment.  At times your dentist may want to even contact your physician when planning your treatment.  Jaw problems can also occur in people who have received bone strengthening drugs used to treat cancer or osteoporosis.

These are only a few examples of how medications can affect your oral health.  Please make sure your dentist is informed of the medications you are taking.  This will ensure that they provide you with the best dental care for your particular needs.  Please be sure to let your dentist know if and when there will be changes to your health or your medication usage. 

If you ever have any questions regarding your oral health concerns, our friendly front desk team is always one phone call away!  248-539-3088.


*As Always, THANK YOU for being part of our practice family!