Prescription Meds Cause Serious Side Effects in the Mouth
There was an article in The Dallas Morning News last week regarding the terrible effects prescription drugs can have on the teeth and gums. It seems that more of us than ever are taking these meds and are at severe risk of developing serious problems. The really big issue here is that these problems can be prevented! I wrote an article several years ago discussing this very issue. It is reprinted below for your review.
HOW IS YOUR SPIT?
Greetings from the office of Dr. Jack Bodie!
An interesting question to be sure. One most people seldom if ever think about. For dentists
however, this is a very important question. Now I’m sure you are beginning to wonder why in
the world anyone would be concerned about this! Well, let’s think about that for a minute.
Spit (we call it saliva) is produced by glands in around our mouths. In young healthy individuals
it is made in amounts sufficient to provide many benefits to our bodies. It aids in digestion. It
keeps our lips, cheeks, tongues, and throats comfy. It allows us to taste and enjoy food. It helps
us with speech. And, what would a kiss be without it! Yuck!
So you see, spit IS important to us all. And as dentists, we know that spit is truly the water of life
for our teeth and gums. We know from research and experience that when a person’s spit goes
away, it won’t be long before their teeth go away as well!
Now you may be asking yourself “Why should I worry? My spit seems fine.” Well, maybe, and
maybe not. You see, the amount of spit you have changes with age, medical conditions, and with
many medications. Most adults begin to have significant reduction in spit volume in their 50’s
and 60’s, continuing to decline throughout life. This also is the time in life when many begin to
have medical conditions requiring medication.
The number of medications that cause dry mouth is staggering. Common medications to treat
allergies, asthma, pain, high blood pressure, depression, sleep disorders, ADD/ADHD, anxiety,
COPD, dieting, and many other disorders cause dry mouth. In our office, it is not uncommon to
see patients taking five or more meds with this side effect. Additionally scary is the fact that
patients may have a 50% or more reduction in spit and be totally unaware of it!
What to do? Well fortunately, damage from not enough spit can be prevented and treated. If your
dentist knows what meds you are taking and has been adequately trained, interceptive and
preventive treatment can be started if diagnosis is made early. And there’s the only catch.You’ve got to see a dentist!
If you are being medicated for the conditions listed above, or if you are taking medication that
has dry mouth listed as a side effect, you may benefit from simple and inexpensive preventive
treatment. An examination and consultation can cost as little as $49.00. If you have questions
about dry mouth or would like to make an appointment, please call 972 235 4767 or e-mail us at
[email protected] We can’t wait to help!
Dr. Jack Bodie