There are many medications available to us to help in controlling certain conditions, whether it’s pain from arthritis to insulin for diabetes. However, many patients are unaware of how their prescription or over-the-counter medications can impact the health of their smiles. Dr. Chong Lee of Galleria Dental Aesthetics in McLean, VA encourages patients to talk to their dentist about the medications they take on a regular basis to determine if they are the cause of new dental concerns.
What are some ways in which a patient’s medication might affect their oral health?
There are several situations that can arise during which a dentist may talk to patients about the medications they are taking. First and foremost, patients need to be open and honest with their dental team when they undergo examinations to let them know what medications they are taking on a regular basis. Some medications have side effects that impact oral health. Knowing what medications a patient is on, the dental team can monitor for certain conditions.
Below are a few ways in which medications interact with a patient’s oral health:
- Some medications have side effects such as dry mouth. Not only is this an uncomfortable condition, but it can also reduce saliva in the mouth that washes away bacteria and food. Without saliva, patients are at a much higher risk of developing bad breath, cavities, and periodontal disease.
- Certain inhaled medications can contribute to the risk of developing candida, also known as “oral thrush.” This can cause the development of white patches on the soft tissues in the mouth and requires medication to resolve.
- Patients who are on medications that change hormone levels may notice that they are at a higher risk for periodontal disease, as hormone fluctuations can cause red, swollen, and bleeding gum tissues. Monitoring hormone levels and possibly discontinuing these supplements if not necessary can often resolve these issues.
Interested in learning more about the side effects of your medications?
Patients of the McLean, VA area who are concerned about complications that arise from their current medications may want to ask their dentist about how they affect their oral health and wellness. Dr. Chong Lee and his team at Galleria Dental Aesthetics are here to help. Patients can call the office at (703) 448-1020 to request a consultation appointment at 1600 Tysons Boulevard, Suite #120.