The medications that you take, whether they are over the counter or prescribed by a doctor, have a significant effect on your oral health. For this reason, it is important to make your dentist aware of any medications you are currently taking or about to begin taking.
The most common side effect of medications is dry mouth. This can be detrimental to your oral health by increasing your risk for tooth decay. The saliva in your mouth functions to help prevent food from collecting around your teeth and neutralizes the acids produced by plaque. If they are not neutralized, those acids can damage the hard surfaces of your teeth.
Inhalers are medications used by many people with breathing problems such as Asthma and COPD. Inhaling medications through your mouth can negatively affect your gums, the lining of your cheeks and your tongue by causing an oral infection called oral candidiasis or “thrush.” Rinsing your mouth after using an inhaler can help to prevent thrush from occurring.
Cancer treatments can also have a significant effect on your oral health. If you are going to be undergoing treatment for cancer, it is a good idea to first visit your dentist so that she or he can ensure that your mouth is as healthy as possible before you begin treatment. Your dentist may also prescribe therapies to keep your mouth healthy while you are undergoing cancer treatment.
If your dentist is not aware of the medications you are taking, make him or her aware at your next dental appointment. If the medications you are currently taking are negatively affecting your oral health, it is important to make your dentist aware of this so he or she can prescribe the appropriate dental treatments to protect your oral health.
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