Oral Effects Of Medications And Dietary Supplements

Posted on: 3 July 2019

Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can affect your teeth and gums. In addition, dietary supplements can also affect your oral health, so it is important that you bring all your supplement and medication information with you when you visit the dental office so that the information can be noted in your chart. Here are some medication and dietary supplement side effects that can affect your oral health and what you can do about them.

Dry Mouth

When your mouth gets too dry as a result of autoimmune disorders, salivary gland dysfunction, or as a result of medication side effects, you may be at risk for cavities and gum disease. Optimal salivary flow helps wash away oral bacteria so that you don't develop carious teeth and gingivitis.

Medications that may contribute to oral dryness include antihistamines, blood pressure medications, diuretics, decongestants, anti-anxiety medications, and prescription pain medications. If you suffer from dry mouth, talk to your doctor about changing your medication, and make sure you see your dentist on a regular basis. In the meantime, drink plenty of water, suck on sugarless candies, cut down on smoking, and limit your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. 

Abnormal Bleeding

Certain medications and dietary supplements can cause bleeding gums. It is important that you tell your dentist about these medications and supplements so that extra care can be taken to minimize bleeding during checkups and dental procedures.

The supplements and medications that are commonly associated with bleeding gums include aspirin, prescription anticoagulants, garlic supplements, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium supplements.

It is important to note, that even if you experience bleeding gums when you brush and floss, never stop taking your anticoagulant medication or aspirin, especially if your doctor prescribed them to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Doing so may raise your risk for a dangerous blood clot.

To minimize your risk for bleeding when brushing your teeth, use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and be gentle. Also, avoid flossing too aggressively because this may lead to abrasions on your gum tissue, triggering a bleeding event.

If you take any of the above medications or dietary supplements, let your dentist know. It is important that you maintain a meticulous oral hygiene routine even though your gums may bleed while brushing and flossing your teeth. Some people are hesitant to maintain their oral hygiene routines because of the medication-related bleeding risk; however, this may predispose you to cavities and gum disease.


About Marcel and the Dentist

Hi, my name is Marcel. Welcome to my site! I started it to help others learn about children's dentistry. Most of us don't remember dentist trips from our early childhood. Maybe we didn't even really care about our teeth until we started losing baby teeth. In my case, I became interested in children's dentistry as a young father. When my kids were young, I was a student, and our insurance did not cover visits to the dentist. Although my wife and I tried to teach our kids good hygiene on our own, it was difficult. When we we finally able to take them to the dentist, my little girls were scared and didn't know what was going on. Luckily, they appreciate the dentist now that they are older, but their first experiences helped teach me more about the importance of children's dentistry. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences!