Medications Can Affect the Mouth

At Serenity Dental of Florida, peace of mind and best care can be ensured when you fully inform our dentists and hygienists about the medications you are currently taking.

Medications that suppress the immune system, antibiotics, and inhaled corticosteroids can cause microorganisms of the mouth to become unbalanced. An overgrowth of candida albicans (a type of fungus/yeast commonly in the mouth) may occur. When this happens, you will notice white lesions beginning to grow on your tongue, the inside of your cheeks, and, perhaps, the roof of your mouth and gum tissue. This condition is called “oral thrush,” and you should call your dentist or physician immediately to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Without treatment, oral thrush can spread down the throat and cause many painful problems in the body. Antifungal prescriptions can easily eliminate the imbalance and heal oral thrush lesions if caught early.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is caused by over 400 different medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and high blood pressure medications. If you are on a medication for more than a few days, for example, in the case of blood pressure, anti-depressants, and Parkinson’s disease medications, dry mouth may make it difficult for you to swallow. Because saliva is repressed by the medications, you may want to use an over-the-counter saliva substitute (a solution, spray or gel). You may want to see if your doctor can prescribe an alternative medication. Sipping water throughout the day will help. Discussion with us about your condition allows us to help you with the problem.

It’s important for you to tell us if you are taking anti-coagulants to prevent blood clots that could cause a stroke or heart attack. Because of the anti-coagulants, you may bleed when your teeth are cleaned, your gums are probed, or during other routine dental procedures. If you are in need of tooth removal, preparation for a crown, root canal treatment, and many other procedures, we will need to take precautions to control bleeding. With your permission, our dentists may want to confer with your physician before treatment.