Senior woman taking her daily prescripted medication

Medications and Oral Health

Certain medications can adversely affect your oral health. While changing your daily routine to include drinking more water or using certain rinses to help moisturize your mouth, you will want to speak with your dentist about how to protect your teeth from damage while taking medication.

What Happens to Your Teeth When Using Certain Medications

The most common side effect from taking certain medications includes dry mouth. When the mouth is dry, it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral issues. Be sure to discuss your medications with your dentist to ensure optimal dental care.

Medications that Affect Dental Health

  • Antidepressants. Dry mouth is a common side effect while taking antidepressants. 
  • Pain medication. Even over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can cause dry mouth. Aspirin can have more severe dental side effects, including bleeding. Opioids or other doctor-prescribed medications can cause adverse effects to your oral health.
  • Blood pressure medication. In addition to dry mouth, certain blood pressure medications can cause swollen gums and other gum issues, plaque buildup, and tooth decay.
  • Decongestants. Decongestants and other cold & flu medications can lead to dental side effects. Also, cough syrup contains highly acidic ingredients and can cause rapid tooth decay if teeth aren’t properly cleaned after administering medication. 
  • Other medications include muscle relaxers, Parkinson’s disease medications, drugs for urinary incontinence, and many others. 

Cosmetic Dental Solutions

Tooth wear can be a result of dry mouth as well as other factors. Porcelain veneers, crowns, bonding, or other cosmetic methods may be able to help you achieve a better, brighter, and healthier smile. 

  • Teeth Whitening. Bleaching lightens teeth that have been affected by poor oral hygiene. 
  • Composite Fillings. Tooth-colored fillings used in bonding can help repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.
  • Porcelain Veneers. Veneers are thin, custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful, individual smile. Veneers can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. 
  • Porcelain Crowns. Crowns are custom-made, tooth-colored cap covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored.

Frequently Asked Questions

During a regular checkup, one of our experienced dental hygienists will remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth and work with you to find the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy on a daily basis. Then, one of our dentists will check your teeth for signs of cavities and other oral diseases, such as cancer.

By following our recommended teeth care routine, making smart choices about your food, and keeping up with regular visits to the dentist, you can lower your risk for tooth decay and promote overall health!

We recommend you come in twice a year to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. If you have any questions while you are here, our knowledgeable team is always happy to answer any questions about your smile. If you are due for a cleaning or are experiencing any oral pain, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment.

We Accept Most PPO Insurance

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
  • MeLife
  • Delta Dental
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Ameritas
  • Guardian
  • Southland

If you are in need of a flexible monthly payment option for dental services, find out if you are qualified for CareCredit. Applying is easy! It only takes 5 minutes to see if you are eligible. If you qualify, there are a variety of options available, so you can pay for your dental treatment.