Did you know that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions? In fact, it is second only to the common cold! While poor oral hygiene and high-sugar diets are two leading contributors, some prescription drugs are also a culprit. So, the nearly 75% of Americans who take at least one medication need to be especially vigilant about their oral health. Read on for four common medicines that lead to dental decay and how your dentist can help protect your smile!
4 Common Medications That Lead to Tooth Decay
- Immunosuppressant drugs – These medications are designed to prevent the body’s immune system from going into overdrive following a transplant or major surgery. While they are extremely effective, they can have unpleasant side effects, like gingival overgrowth.
- Antihistamines – Patients who have a fever or nasal congestion are often given antihistamines, like Benadryl, which restore regular breathing. However, they can lead to tooth decay and decrease saliva production, which can wreak havoc on your oral health.
- Chemotherapy treatments – Chemotherapy medications, like methotrexate, can lead to inflammation of the inside lining of your mouth and result in tooth decay.
- Aspirin – Use of this popular over-the-counter medication can result in mouth sores and bleeding of the gums.
6 Prevention Tactics to Implement Immediately
If you are taking one or more of the above medications, preventing tooth decay is crucial for your oral health and smile. While priority number one is speaking to your primary care physician in-depth about the benefits and consequences of each medication, implementing the below best practices is equally as important:
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet.
- Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar, like soda and candy.
- Take your medication during meals.
- Visit your dentist biannually.
How Your Dentist Can Help
When it comes to your oral health, no one is a greater ally than your dentist. Not only can they catch tooth decay in the early stages, but they can intervene accordingly to prevent it from spreading. Plus, they can conduct a professional cleaning to remove stubborn plaque and tartar, which can increase the rate in which tooth decay develops.
Tooth decay is an ever-present threat for Americans, especially those who take the above medications. Fortunately, implementing a solid oral hygiene regimen can help keep your teeth strong from the inside-out. Plus, your dentist is in your corner to keep your oral health and smile in pristine condition!
About the Practice
From weekend appointments and high-quality treatment to world-class customer service and a friendly team, patients get nothing short of an exceptional dental experience at Washington Dental Associates. Led by Dr. Mariliza LeCap and Dr. Darren Tong, each member of the team uses the latest technology and their personalized approach to care to provide each patient with pristine oral health and beautiful smiles. If you are experiencing tooth decay as a result of one of your medications, visit our website or give us a call at 201-453-4863.