A dry mouth may seem like a minor problem, but it can cause discomfort and contribute to a lowered quality of life. For more than 400 medications, dry mouth is listed as a side effect. Without enough saliva flow, bacteria and plaque can grow in the mouth. This can make a person more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.
Did you know that some medications can impact your saliva production and cause your body not to salivate? They can also make your mouth feel dry when your body continues to produce the same amount of salivation. Also, some medications like antidepressants can cause burning mouth syndrome.
Another side effect is Dysgeusia which means the distortion of taste, and this can occur from medications and from persistent dry mouth. If you are taking medications for your overall health, your dentist must know. So they can appropriately assess your oral health, keeping in mind that your prescription regimen may be a contributing factor.
Having a dry mouth is difficult enough on its own. Sadly, it also comes with other negative side effects when it isn’t resolved. It’s been determined that someone taking three or more medicines has a higher Root Caries Index or ratio of cavities compared to someone taking one or two prescriptions. The consequences of a dry mouth include:
- constant sore throat
- burning sensation
- trouble speaking
- difficulty swallowing
- dry nasal passages
Other ways medication affects the smile:
- Oral sores and inflammation from oral contraceptives and blood pressure control medications.
- Discolored teeth from tetracycline (a medicine used for acne treatment).
- Mouth lesions or ulcers from antibiotics and ibuprofen.
If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulty with a dry mouth or other oral health conditions that come with age, talk with a dentist right away. Prevent further damage and enhance the quality of life by sharing any oral health concerns.
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