Our Elmhurst Dentist Discusses The Connections Between Dental Health And Medication Use

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Oct 19, 2021

For the most part, we often tend to think about medication side effects as nuisances with which we have to put up. However, in some cases side effects become more than annoying—they become downright unhealthy. Today our Elmhurst dentists are going to be reviewing a few commonly experienced medication side effects that negatively affect oral health. Let’s get started!

A number of popular prescription and over-the-counter medications come along with a risk of developing dry mouth. While it’s normal to occasionally experience dry mouth, a chronic lack of saliva makes it harder for your body to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize enamel. As a result, you may notice that your enamel is thin and damaged and that you’re dealing with hard-to-treat bad breath.

Likewise, acid reflux is another medication side effect that can wear down your smile over time. Acid reflux moves acids from your digestive tract up through your esophagus and into your mouth. Unfortunately, this type of acid is quite caustic, so it weakens your teeth and gums upon contact. It is important that you find an alternative medication that doesn’t cause this side effect, or that you add an additional medication to your routine in order to treat reflux. 

Finally, there are certain medications that are not recommended for use with pediatric patients, specifically. The antibiotic tetracycline, for example, can cause permanent teeth to develop with discoloration, stains, or textural irregularities in the enamel. That is why we recommend that pediatric patients find an alternative to tetracycline.

If you are using a medication, and you’d like to learn more about how it is affecting your oral health, our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you! Please call our office, or use the Contact Us page on our website to get started.