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May 14

How Medications Can Contribute to Poor Gum Health

Medications and Poor Gum Health - Knoxville, TN

Posted on May 14, 2017 — by Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S.

Medication in a prescription bottleSmoking, poor oral hygiene, teeth grinding (bruxism), and a bad diet can all contribute to periodontal health problems such as gum disease. That's why our Knoxville dental care practice takes prevention and soft tissue care so seriously. What many patients don't realize is that there are other unexpected causes of periodontal health problems.

The team at our practice would like to consider how prescription and over-the-counter drugs can lead to problems with periodontal health. We'll then offer some insight on how to avoid serious problems with overall dental wellness.

Medications Side Effects Can Impact Your Smile

Many people don't realize that medications can have an impact on your dental health. While drugs that are prescribed or purchased over-the-counter are meant to make us better, their side effects can have unexpected consequences. Sometimes the cost of wellness could be issues with the health of your smile.

Dry Mouth and Other Dangers

Dry mouth is the most common side effect of medications that can impact the health of your gums. When your mouth is dry, it makes your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay and acidic erosion. It also makes your gum more prone to the bacteria that causes gum disease. This could mean a greater likelihood of advanced periodontal disease and even root canal infections if you aren't careful.

In addition to dry mouth, some medications can cause inflammation of the gums, discoloration of gum tissue, sores in the mouth, and oral thrush (fungal infection).

Types of Medications That Can Affect the Gums

There are different kinds of medications that commonly lead to the above side effects. They include the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids

Should I Stop Taking These Drugs?

No. You should take your medicine as directed.

However, being aware of these side effects, you should consider various options for preventing gum disease and other issues that could impact your oral health. You can discuss these issues with your dentist or your doctor, and proper recommendations can be made based on your situation.

Tips for Preventing Dental Health Issues

When it comes to preventing dental health issues related to medications, consider the following simple tips:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
  • Floss after every meal
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco products
  • Consider an artificial saliva product
  • Use a humidifier during sleep
  • Chew on sugar-free gum to promote salivation

Water: Good Hydration Is Helpful for Wellness

The best advice we can offer is to hydrate throughout the day with clean water. A few glasses of water throughout the day can help with saliva production, prevents dehydration, and promotes proper function of your body. Drinking water when you're thirsty can also help clean food particles from the mouth and reduce oral acidity that can harm the teeth.

Learn More About Improving Periodontal Health

To learn more about treating gum disease, gum recession, and other kinds of dental wellness issues, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic and restorative dentistry experts today. We will work closely with you to improve the healthy and beauty of your smile.

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Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., DDS

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