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How Do Medications Affect Your Gum Health?

Proper oral hygiene and dental care is important for having good teeth, as well as healthy gums, which are just as important for a healthy smile as the teeth.

Since medical research keeps showing how crucial it is to take good care of our teeth to avoid far more serious consequences than a toothache or discolored teeth, we also wanted to emphasize the importance of prevention and common sense at-home care.

Something that is not as frequently discussed but is important to consider is the side effect of certain medications on the health of your gums.

Certain kinds of medications intended to improve our health and sense of wellbeing can actually negatively affect the health of the gums, leading to increased risk of gum disease, gum recession, and a host of other issues.

One of the issues is dry mouth, or xerostomia. There are over five hundred different medications known today to cause this condition, from drugs designed to treat depression, high blood pressure, cancer, allergies, to those that treat the common cold.

The problem is that dry mouth leads to decay, since with the absence of saliva, the plaque on the teeth cannot be routinely washed away. As the gum tissue dries out, and it becomes a chronic condition, it can significantly increase the risk of developing deep cavities.

Besides dry mouth, other periodontal health problems can arise with the use of some medications, such as irritated gums, swollen gums, gum discoloration, oral sores, and thrush (fungal infection).

For all these reasons, it’s very important to discuss with your doctor the side effects of any medications that you have been prescribed. Since it may be imperative that you continue to take the medications as directed in order to address serious health issues and support overall wellness, it’s vital that you understand any potential challenges you may face, and take steps to address the side effects associated with your medication.

As far as preventing the issues with periodontal health, we recommend considering the following:

  • Hydrating throughout the day with water
  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day/after each meal
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Avoiding smoking and using tobacco products
  • Visiting your dentist twice a year for regular dental checkups 

Whether you need a routine cleaning or a more advanced dental treatment – rely on Dr. Shea Stevens, who was named one of PA’s top 20 dentists, and our highly qualified, experienced, and friendly staff to provide you with a solution.

Take charge of your oral health today – contact Smiles By Stevens in Lancaster PA, and find out firsthand why we continue to be one of the most trustworthy and distinguished general, cosmetic, and implant dentist offices in the area.