Our Elmhurst Dentist Discusses Oral Health Side Effects Of Medication

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Dec 28, 2021

When using over-the-counter or prescription medications it is very common for dental patients of all ages to experience side effects that secondarily impact oral health. In this short article our Elmhurst dentists are going to be giving you more information about this kind of side effect, as well as steps you can take to protect your smile. Let’s get started!

Dry mouth is one of the most commonly experienced side effects of both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Unfortunately, this side effect can create an unhealthy oral environment, because there isn’t enough saliva present to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize teeth. Patients who deal with chronic dry mouth are likely to have an increase in cavities and gum disease, and to battle hard-to-treat bad breath.

Acid reflux is another side effect that can damage dental health over time. If you are experiencing acid reflux, then acids from your digestive tract are moving up through your esophagus and into your mouth. Stomach acid weakens oral tissues as well as dental enamel upon contact. Once again this type of side effect creates an oral environment that is unhealthy and unsustainable.

So far we have talked about side effects that occur in all kinds of dental patients, but there are also some specific issues that can occur with pediatric patients. Specifically, when pediatric patients, who still have their baby teeth, use the antibiotic tetracycline, they can end up developing adult teeth that are stained or pitted/grooved. For this reason, we strongly recommend that young patients use an alternative tetracycline—talk to your doctor about your options!

We hope that this information has given you a better idea of the ways in which medication can impact oral health. You can always call our Elmhurst dentists to get more information, or to schedule a personal consultation with our team.