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    Can medication affect your oral health?

    You’ve been prescribed a new medication by your doctor. . . could it potentially affect your oral health? It’s common for medications to cause side effects within the body — including the mouth. These side effects can lead to an increase in your chance of developing tooth decay, making it a priority to stay educated on which medications could put you at higher risk. 

    Common Oral Side Effects of Medications 

    There are multiple common oral side effects that you may find yourself experiencing when you start a new medication. These can include: 

    • Dry mouth: Some medications can cause a change in the amount of saliva your mouth produces. Saliva helps keep food from collecting around your teeth and neutralizes the acids produced by plaque. When you suffer from dry mouth, this can increase your risk of developing cavities. Many commonly used medications are putting you at a higher risk of experiencing tooth decay. These medications can include antihistamines, antihypertensives, antidepressants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and more. 
    • Oral thrush: This infection can cause soreness or redness, lesions on the tongue, and pain while eating or swallowing. This is most common when taking certain medications through an inhaler, so it’s important to rinse your mouth out once you’ve used it. 
    • Metallic taste: Certain medications — including antibiotics, blood pressure medications, diabetes medication, and more — can cause a metallic taste in your mouth. This is due to the fact that your body absorbs the medicine and it then comes out in the saliva. This symptom is also prevalent in those who are suffering from dry mouth. 

    Discussing Medications with Your Dentist 

    While it’s important to talk to your doctor when side effects like these begin to happen, it’s also just as important to talk to your dentist or hygienist. Making them aware of the medications you are taking and the side effects you are experiencing can allow them to be proactive in preventing potential cavities or other oral problems from forming. 

    If you have any questions regarding medications and your oral health, don’t hesitate to call your dentist and relay your concerns to them! They are here to help keep your smile healthy.