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Tooth Decay Causes – Are Medicines Behind the Decline of Oral Health?

Dental decay causes and treatment

How much do you know about different tooth decay causes? There are quite a few habits that affect your oral health adversely. Smoking, drinking carbonated sugary drinks, chewing tobacco are a few to name. But what about your medicines? The ones which are supposed to make you better. You will be surprised to know that even life-saving medicines can be detrimental to oral health. Read on to know more.

Let us begin with a list of medicines that can cause tooth decay.

  • Antacids
  • Chronic pain medicines like opioids
  • Decongestants and antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Sedatives
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Lung inhalers
  • Seizure drugs
  • Anti-spasm drugs
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Diuretics
  • Anti-nausea drugs
  • Scopolamine
  • Narcotic pain drugs

How prescription drugs become the major cause of tooth decay in adults?

Dry mouth:

We already know that dry mouth is one of the common causes of tooth decay. Anything from high-blood pressure medicines to anti-depressants can cause dry mouth. Talk to your dentist. He can alter a few medications or simply adjust your dosage to eliminate dry mouth symptoms.

In order to avoid dry mouth syndrome and tooth decay, you can use products that enhances the production of saliva. If your dentist has not recommended any OTC saliva product, you can eat sugarless gum containing xylitol which produces more saliva in the mouth.

Consider using a fluoride toothpaste so that your teeth have an extra protective layer against bacterial plaque. Bacterial plaque instigates cavities which in turn can lead to gum disease and tooth loss if not treated properly on time.

Bone loss:

Did you know that among the many reasons for tooth decay, a common one is an antiepileptic drug? This can cause bone loss. A drug (bisphosphonates) known to treat osteoporosis leads to a rare condition known as osteonecrosis of the jawbone. The structure of the jawbone is destroyed. You also face painful symptoms like loose teeth, swollen jaw or gums, and a heavy feeling in the jaw.

Oral yeast infections:

Thrush or oral yeast infection appears as white lesions on tongue and mouth. Caused by a fungus known as Candida this is an after-effect of steroids, antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs. Constant oral health monitoring is one of the easiest ways to find out about this problem. An antifungal mouthwash in case of a moderate situation and antifungal medication for a severe condition is prescribed by the dentist.

Swollen gums:

There are quite a few drugs like seizure medications, blood pressure medicines, and immunosuppressant drugs which cause swelling of gums. In this condition, gum tissues grow fast, at times more than teeth. The growth can be painful, and you may notice symptoms like swelling and tenderness. But regular check-ups easily detect this problem at an early stage.

The risk of swollen gums increases if you have bad dental hygiene and plaque. Go for regular dental check-ups if you are taking any of the above-mentioned drugs. A dental check-up not only ensures freedom from such problems but prevent cavities as well.

Tooth decay and cavities:

Acid reflux and heartburn are some of the well-known tooth decay causes. But having antacids to treat them are equally bad for your oral health. Antacids can damage your teeth adversely leading to tooth decay. This is true for antacids in all forms – liquid, chewable and dissolvable.

It has also been noted that sugar content in antacids is quite high which is itself bad for oral health. There are times when chewable antacids can get stuck between teeth. Prolonged exposure to sugar can cause cavities inside the mouth. However, you can always contact your physician to discuss the best possible remedy for this.

Teeth discoloration:

Some drugs, especially those like minocycline which are used to treat acne can lead to gray discoloration or black pigmentation. As the stains are noticeable, you may require teeth whitening treatment from your dentists.

Abnormal bleeding:

Both anti-coagulants and aspirins are known as blood thinners. They can prevent stroke and heart attack, but patients who take them regularly experience a problem in blood clotting. As a result, you may experience bleeding gums during oral surgery.

You must tell your dentist if you are taking these medicines regularly so that he can suggest preventive measures. The use of soft brush can lessen bleeding during brushing and flossing.

Change in taste in mouth:

There are some medications that leave a metallic taste in the mouth or simply change the taste in the mouth. Medications that may cause this problem are nicotine skin patches, cardiovascular drugs, some respiratory inhalants, and stimulants used for the central nervous system.

Reactions in soft tissue:

We have already discussed the medicines which are directly linked to tooth decay causes and deteriorate oral health. Prolonged consumption of oral contraceptives, chemotherapeutic and immunosuppressive agents can lead to oral sores and inflammation. Your dentist normally prescribes an oral hygiene regimen to eliminate discomfort from inflammation and ulcers.

Ways to minimize the damage caused by medicines:

Here are some of the ways in which you can reduce the chances of dry mouth and fight tooth decay causes. But always consult your doctor before including them in your diet chart.

  • Here are some of the ways in which you can reduce chances of dry mouth and fight tooth decay causes:
  • Eat snacks like celery sticks
  • Increase the daily intake of water: increase the number to 8 glasses a day
  • Eat sugarless candy or gum
  • Brush and floss at least twice a day
  • Forget about tobacco products
  • Go for a hydrating mouthwash or mouth rinse
  • Reduce dehydrating drinks like alcohol, coffee, and tea
  • Go for sugar-free acid reflux to decrease the chances of tooth damage
  • Add veggies like oatmeal, ginger, egg whites, non-citrus fruits, whole-grain rice and bread and lean meats to your diet

Looking for emergency dentists Urbandale? Searching for solutions for toothache treatment in Iowa? Our expert dentists at DM Dental are at your service. Schedule an appointment with us today for your regular check-up.

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