Medications Can Affect the Mouth

Inform your Smile Design Dentistry dentist about the medications you are taking and any recent changes in your medical history.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is caused by over 400 different medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and high blood pressure medications. If you are on a medication for more than a few days, for example, in the case of blood pressure, anti-depressants, and Parkinson’s disease medications, dry mouth may make it difficult for you to swallow. These medications repress salivary flow which then increases the acidity levels in your mouth causing the bad bacteria to flourish. Regular prescription fluoride toothpaste use will help neutralize the acidity levels and thus decrease the risk of cavities caused by these bad bacteria. Discussion with us about your condition allows us to help you with the problem if it lasts more than a few days.

It’s important for you to tell us if you are taking anti-coagulants to prevent blood clots that could cause a stroke or heart attack. Because of the anti-coagulants, you may bleed when your teeth are cleaned, your gums are probed, or during other routine dental procedures. If you are in need of tooth removal, preparation for a crown, root canal treatment, and many other procedures, we will need to take precautions to control bleeding. With your permission, our dentists may want to confer with your physician before treatment.

Medications that suppress the immune system, antibiotics, and inhaled corticosteroids can cause microorganisms of the mouth to become unbalanced. An overgrowth of candida albicans (a type of fungus/yeast commonly in the mouth) may occur. When this happens, you will notice white lesions beginning to grow on your tongue, the inside of your cheeks, and, perhaps, the roof of your mouth and gum tissue. This condition is called “oral thrush,” and you should call your dentist or physician immediately to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Without treatment, oral thrush can spread down the throat and cause many painful problems in the body. Antifungal prescriptions can easily eliminate the imbalance and heal oral thrush lesions if caught early.

At Smile Design Dentistry locations throughout Tampa Bay and Central Florida, our dentists are well versed in the affects of medication on the mouth and want to help you be as comfortable and healthy as possible. Your safety is our priority, so please keep us informed. And, don’t be surprised when we inquire about your medical history and the medications and supplements you are taking. We genuinely care about you!