For many patients, quality oral health starts and stops with how frequently they manage to brush and floss each day. Perhaps it’s the idea that brushing and flossing work alone to prevent cavities, but they don’t always think about how the foods they eat or what they drink may impact the health of their teeth and gums. Patients are far more likely to need the services of a cosmetic dentist in Castle Rock, Colorado if they don’t think of their oral health as a holistic unit that requires maintaining a fine balance to protect, rather than as something isolated.

One area most patients never consider regarding what effect it may have on their oral health is when it comes to the medications they take. Considering 70 percent of all Americans take at least on prescription drug – with 90 percent of adults over 65 taking one or more – it’s vital that patients understand what effect their meds may have on their oral health.

Understanding the impact medications can have on your oral health is key to helping you maintain strong teeth and gums. While certain types of medications may help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and ease depression, they can also have negative side effects that can harm your oral health.

Let’s take a look at how.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth ranks as the most common, and problematic, issue taking certain medications can cause. In fact, over 500 commonly prescribed medications can contribute to a patient developing dry mouth, according to the American Pharmacists Association.

These medications include a wide variety that treat for everything from high blood pressure and diabetes to depression and anxiety.

So what’s the big deal?

Saliva acts as the body’s natural defense mechanism against plaque and other harmful oral bacteria that builds up in the mouth. Not only does your saliva work to neutralize harmful bacteria, it also helps to wash food particles that linger in the mouth after eating away from the surface of our teeth and gums.

When plaque and food particles are allowed to buildup, which commonly occurs in the mouths of patients with dry mouth, a perfect condition is created in the mouth for the development of tooth decay and gum disease. The longer a patient stays on a medication that causes dry mouth, the more permanent damage can occur.

If you experience persistent dry mouth, talk with your cosmetic dentist in Castle Rock, Colorado about whether the medications you take could be the cause. If so, talk with your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different type of medication that may not cause the same issues with saliva production.

Increased Surgical Risk

Certain types of drugs, such as those used to treat diseases like osteoporosis, may help to prevent bone loss, but they can cause some complications during any type of dental surgeries like implants or wisdom tooth extractions. These Bisphosphonates prevent bones in the body, such as the jaw bone, from breaking down and building back up. This prevents the body from healing after any surgery that involves the jaw.

Other types of drugs, such as blood thinners can also cause problems during oral surgery. While they work wonders at helping to prevent a stroke or heart attack, they make it harder for the body to stop bleeding, which becomes problematic when clotting is needed following surgery to allow the body to heal.

You need to discuss any type of medication you take with our cosmetic dentist in Castle Rock, Colorado before scheduling any surgical treatments.

The Mouth/Body Connection

We may not often think about how interconnected our mouths and bodies. But what we eat, drink, and even medicate with can all have a serious impact on the health of our teeth and gums.

Your oral health matters. Research shows that individuals with gum disease and tooth decay have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic illnesses that include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. All conditions that require taking meds that could contribute to poor oral health.

See, it’s all connected.

Take care of your oral health by scheduling regular exams and cleanings with our team at Glow Comprehensive Dental. You’ll be glad you did.