Did you know that your prescription medications could be causing tooth decay? If you are experiencing an increase in tooth decay later in life, there is a good chance it could be a result of dry mouth caused by a number of prescription medications. Medications for allergies, high blood pressure and diabetes all include dry mouth as a side effect. Arlington Heights, VA dentist Dr. Brent Engelberg wants patients to know the importance of saliva, and how they can protect their oral health from decay. Over 500 prescription medications report dry mouth as a common side effect.
What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth is an oral health concern that occurs when the body is not making enough saliva. When you stop producing enough saliva, your risk of tooth decay increase. Saliva is your bodies first defense against plaque and tartar build up. Saliva washes away food debris and helps balance the bacteria and pH levels in your mouth. Healthy saliva production is a key element of stable oral health. If you are taking any prescription medications, it is important to let your dentist know.
What are the risks of dry mouth?
Long term dry mouth can increase a patient’s potential of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Dry mouth should be addressed by your dentist as soon as you notice the symptoms. People with dry mouth often have a scratchy or dry feeling and may experience an increase in tooth decay.
How can I reduce the side effects of dry mouth?
To help combat dry mouth it is important to drink plenty of water and maintain proper oral hygiene. Many patients can find relief by using over the counter mouthwashes or moisturizer. Chewing ADA approved sugar-free gum can also help stimulate saliva production and can help reduce tooth decay.
Schedule A Consultation
If you have dry mouth or are taking prescription medications you believe may be causing dry mouth, contact our Arlington Heights dentist office as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you keep your teeth and gums in their best health. Contact our Arlington Heights, IL dentist office or schedule a consultation online.