Are Medications Affecting Your Smile? Our Saint Louis Dentists Discuss

Written by Dr. Grayem on Dec 28, 2021

Our Saint Louis dentists have previously talked about the ways in which foods and drinks can affect your oral health, but there is another part of your daily routine that impacts your smile—medication usage. As with foods and beverages, certain medications can put you at risk for developing oral health issues down the road. Keep reading to learn why…

  • Dry Mouth

Saliva is a critical part of your body’s natural ability to neutralize bacteria and strengthen teeth. When a medication causes dry mouth, the oral environment becomes ideal for bacterial growth. Many medications, including over-the-counter antihistamines, can lead to dry mouth.   

  • Acid Reflux

Some medications are particularly hard on the digestive system, leading to acid reflux. You may already know that acidic foods and drinks soften enamel—well when your teeth come into contact with stomach acid the effect is even more pronounced! Talk to your dentist about ways you can mitigate reflux and protect your teeth.

  • Tetracycline

It is especially important to be aware of tetracycline use with pediatric dental patients, because tetracycline can affect the that permanent teeth develop. When patients with developing teeth take tetracycline, they may end up with stained and texturally uneven enamel.

These are just a few of the ways in which medications can impact your oral health. As you can see, medication side effects that at first glance may seem simply annoying, can actually be harmful for your teeth and gums.

If you have questions about the dental effects of medications you are taking, please contact our Saint Louis dentists to get the additional information and support you need.