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Medications and Dental Health

Whenever using a new medication, whether over the counter or by prescription, people generally consider a number of things, such as drug interactions and potential medical side effects. However, something that is often overlooked are medications’ effects on dental health. Many medications can have an effect on several different aspects of dental health. These can include: - Soft tissue reactions (such as gum inflammation) - Abnormal gum bleeding (especially during dental procedures, even common ones such as teeth cleaning) - Tooth discoloration - Gum tissue overgrowth - Halitosis Besides the above, one of the most common side effects of medication is dry mouth. Although it may not sound as if it should be a major concern, it certainly is. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but can lead to conditions such as bad breath and even tooth decay.

Although it may be tempting, avoid drinking sugary sodas or juices, or chewing on mints or gum that contain sugar to try and alleviate your dry mouth symptoms, as this can cause cavities. Instead, drink lots of pure water, and consider a dry mouth gel. The Ann Arbor dental practice of Dr. Shannon Norman-Kotre carries several dry mouth gels that can be purchased without an appointment and can greatly reduce your symptoms. Dr. Kotre can help with any dry mouth symptoms you may be experiencing, due to a change in medications, or otherwise. If you notice a change in your dental health after starting on any new medications, be sure to speak with your doctor about your concerns. If you have a dental appointment scheduled with Dr. Kotre and have started a new medication, be sure to let her and your hygienist know. Also feel free to contact Dr. Kotre at 734-677-2156, and she will be happy to address any questions you may have about your medications and how they may affect your dental health.


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