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Completely You: Oral Care

How Your Meds Can affect Your Mouth

By Stacey Colino for completely You

You’re probably well aware of side effects like stomach upset that lots of medicines can cause. but how your meds affect your mouth is also crucial — mouth health impacts overall body health.

Yet a lot of people don’t realize this, says Dr. Gigi Meinecke, a dentist in Potomac, Md., and a spokesperson for the Academy of general Dentistry. What’s more, “patients are very selective about what they tell dentists about the medications they’re taking because they consider it a private matter,” adds Dr. Meinecke. “But we can better care for you if we know what you’re taking.”

Below, we rounded up the five a lot of common oral side effects of medications, along with recommendations on what to do if you have them. speak to your dentist and remember to bring a complete list of all the prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and supplements you’re taking to your next dental checkup.

Side Effect: dry mouth Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but having an excessively dry mouth can also make you a lot more prone to gum infection, cavities and tooth decay.

Possible culprits: hundreds of medications can cause dry mouth, including antacids, antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications, and drugs for urinary incontinence.

What to do: Sip water or suck on ice chips frequently throughout the day, and sleep with a humidifier in your bedroom. avoid alcohol and toothpaste with sodium laurel sulfate, which can intensify dry mouth, advises Meinecke. Ask your doctor or dentist whether you’d benefit from using an over-the-counter moisturizing gel to stimulate saliva production.

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Side Effect: Tooth discolorationSometimes the discoloration is superficial; other times, it’s inside the tooth (if it occurred when you were very young, for example).

Possible culprits: Antibiotics like the tetracycline class, Cipro and penicillin.

What to do: If the discoloration is on the outside of the tooth, a dental hygienist may be able to remove it, says Meinecke. If the area along the gumline or between the teeth is stained, your dentist can probably remove the discoloration using a special polishing system called Prophy-Jet.

Side Effect: Gum overgrowthFortunately, this is a rare phenomenon, but gum overgrowth is not only unsightly, it can also cause lots of plaque buildup that can cause cavities and other problems. According to Meinecke, people with poor oral hygiene are a lot more likely to experience gum overgrowth in action to medications.

Possible culprits: Prolonged use of anticonvulsant drugs, calcium channel blockers or immunosuppressants.

What to do: Meticulous brushing and flossing is vital while taking these medications. If your teeth are building up plaque because of abnormal gum growth, you may need to see your dentist a lot more frequently than twice a year.

Side Effect: Tooth grinding or jaw clenching (aka bruxism)Tooth grinding or clenching can cause jaw pain and harm tooth enamel. “If people are just doing it at night, they may not be aware of it,” says Meinecke, but some are doing it during the day too.

Possible culprits: Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs), including Prozac, Celexa, Paxil and Effexor.

What to do: speak to your dentist about having a model made of your teeth to see if their size and shape change over time due to the grinding, suggests Meinecke. If you’re grinding just at night, wearing a mouth-guard can help. If it’s a problem 24/7, speak to your doctor about whether switching antidepressants or taking another medication along with the antidepressant might help alleviate these effects.

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Side Effect: Abnormal bleedingCertain meds can minimize the blood’s ability to clot, which can cause bleeding problems during oral procedures or treatments.

Possible causes: Anticoagulant medications (like Coumadin) e farmaci antinfiammatori non steroidei (inclusa l’aspirina).

Cosa fare: praticare l’igiene orale scrupolosa (con delicato filo interdentale e spazzolatura) e assicurati di dire al tuo dentista che stai prendendo questi medicinali in modo che possa prendere provvedimenti per ridurre il sanguinamento. “Potrebbe essere necessario fermare i farmaci prima di fare una pulizia o alcuni tipi di lavoro dentale”, osserva Meinecke.

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è uno scrittore freelance che si concentra su questioni sanitarie e psicologiche. Il suo lavoro è apparso in molte pubblicazioni di stampa e online, tra cui la giornata e la prevenzione della donna. Questo è il suo primo post che appare completamente in te.

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