Our O’Fallon Dentist Explains How Medications Can Affect Oral Health

Written by Dr. Brace on Dec 28, 2021

You may already know that your daily food and drink consumption can have a big effect on your smile, but did you know that medications can also impact oral health? Some commonly experienced side effects of medications can damage your teeth and gums, and lead to oral health issues down the road. Keep reading to learn more from our O’Fallon dentists

Dry mouth is a particularly common side effect of both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, a dry mouth is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. If you notice that your battling dry mouth, talk to your dentist and doctor about steps you can take to protect your smile. You may need to switch medications or incorporate a mouth rinse into your daily routine.

Chronic acid reflux can also damage your smile over time. When your teeth come into contact with acidic substances, dental enamel becomes temporarily softened. At these times your teeth are more vulnerable than usual, and dental damage or enamel erosion can occur. You doctor may be able to prescribe a complementary medication to manage acid reflux, and thereby protect your smile.

There are also medications, like tetracycline, that actually affect how teeth develop in childhood. Pediatric patients who take tetracycline are at risk of developing permanent teeth that are stained or pitted. Talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options available to you.

Any medication that affects your oral environment can cause lasting damage over time. The key to protecting your smile is communicating with your doctor and dentist about the symptoms you are experiencing. Our O’Fallon dentists are happy to give you more information about how medications affect oral health. Give us a call to get started!