Drugs and Oral Health

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There are many drugs that can cause serious side effects that alter your oral health. Some of these effects include:

Dry Mouth is a common side-effect of a host of tablets. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs for glaucoma, antihypertensives and narcotics can lead to a dry mouth. As a result the teeth, oral mucosa and soft tissue can become inflamed, painful and prone to infection. This situation commonly leads to tooth decay.

b&w-mouthGingival Hyperplasia (overgrowth of the gum tissue) is commonly caused by medications to treat epilepsy, heart, and high blood pressure and immunosuppressant drugs.

Taste Disturbance can be caused by antidepressants especially.

Oral Lesions, such as soft tissue discoloration and inflammation, can be caused by drugs used for blood pressure, immunosuppressants, oral contraceptives and chemotherapy drugs.

Abnormal Bleeding can be caused by drugs such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), steroids and anticoagulants, which are used to thin the blood in common conditions associated with strokes and certain diseases associated with the heart and arrhythmias.

mouthTooth Discoloration: This is a common side effect of some antibiotics.  Tetracyclines must be avoided below the age of 12 due to the tendency to permanently affect the colour of the teeth

Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding can be side effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications but may be more symptomatic of the underlying illness.

Last updated: March 25, 2014

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