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Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

Our smile is one of the biggest assets we have. Unfortunately, there are so many people who avoid breaking into one – they cover their mouths because they are afraid their imperfect teeth will create a bad impression.

Medication Side Effects on Oral Health

Medication Side Effects on Oral Health

People in their life takes a lot of medicine but have ever thought what will this medicine do to our mouth and medicine?

Generally, medicines are designed to give relief to your body but we have also heard of the side effects caused by medicine on our bodies. But the medicine taken either orally or injected into the body can cause risk to your mouth i.e., oral problems. Medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure, cancer, allergies, depression, severe pain, and a common cold can affect your dental health. Not only your doctor as well as a dentist should be aware of the medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter products, supplements, and vitamins.

Some of the most common mouth-related side effects from medications are as follows:

Fungal infection: inhaler medication used by asthma patients can lead to yeast infection in the mouth which is called oral candidiasis. To prevent this side effect, rinse your mouth with water every time you use an inhaler.

Dry mouth (xerostomia): intake of some drugs can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, causing uncomfortable in your mouth also termed as Xerostomia. Without saliva in the mouth, the tissues get irritated and inflamed. This can increase the risk for tooth decay, infection, and gum disease. In some cases, chemotherapy medicines can also lead to dry mouth.

    Some medicines that can lead to dry mouth as side effects are:

Antidepressants

Antipsychotics

Lung inhalers

Parkinson’s disease medications

Seizure medications

Anti-anxiety medications

Narcotic pain medications

Anti-spasm medications

Alzheimer’s disease medications

Scopolamine

Isotretinoin used to treat acne

Certain heart and blood pressure medications include calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and diuretics.

Dry mouth can be cause problems for you but many times benefits of using medicine can outweigh the risk attached to the dry mouth. To make your mouth relieve try drinking plenty of water or chewing sugarless gum.

Gum swelling (Gingival overgrowth): some medications can cause buildup in gum tissue often termed as ‘Gingival overgrowth’. In this condition, the gum tissue becomes so swollen that it grows over the teeth leading to the risk of periodontal disease. Swollen gum tissues provide a favorable environment for bacteria to grow and damage surrounding tooth structure.

Medicines that can cause gum swelling and overgrowth are:

Phenytoin, a seizure medication

Blood pressure medications are called calcium channel blockers, which include nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, and amlodipine.

Cyclosporine.

Men tend to have this side effect and having dental plaque increases the risk more. Follow good oral hygiene and visit a dentist for regular check-ups (perhaps every three months) can help the lower chance of developing this condition.

Know about Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion is the loss of the surface of your teeth due to the acids you drink or eat or acids coming from the stomach. These acids dissolve the crystals which help in making your teeth, leading to loss of tooth surface. These acids can even soften the tooth surface making it easy to be worn away by teeth grinding.

How stomach acids can cause teeth erosion:

Our stomach contains very strong acids that are used to digest food. Reflux and vomiting can cause strong acids to enter your mouth.

Stomach acids used for digestion are strong and can cause damage to your teeth. For example, people with morning sickness and reflux can experience this problem.

Dietary sources of acids that can cause tooth erosion:

Common food and drinks that contain a high level of acid:

 Energy drinks

Cold drinks (sugar-free and containing sugar)

Fruit juices

Lemon flavored teas and drinks

Citrus fruits (limes, lemons, oranges)

Wine

Vinegar

Vitamin c tablets

Vitamin water

Pre-mixed alcoholic drinks

Food acids are commonly used in processed food and drinks, if check the ingredient list given on the packet you can see if food acids are added or not. The ingredients are listed in order of their amount present in food with the most is listed first.

Symptoms of tooth erosions:

One sign of tooth erosion is the loss of the surface of the tooth, which can lead to a shiny, smooth appearance. Tooth erosion can expose tooth roots making them more sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet food and drinks.

  When tooth erosion increases, the enamel may wear away to expose underlying dentine, this area looks like yellow depressions on the surface. Fillings in teeth become more prominent when the surrounding tooth surface is dissolving away due to erosion.

Tooth erosion complications:

Tooth erosion, if untreated can lead to loss of the tooth surface. The loss of tooth structure requires dental treatment like dental fillings, crowns, veneers, and root canal treatment.

How to prevent tooth erosion:

Tooth erosion can only be prevented by limiting the contact of acids with teeth.

Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Avoid drinking soft drinks or juice.

Consume fruits rather than drinking fruit juices.

Consult a doctor to manage reflux or vomiting.

Eat fruits during mealtime not between the meals.

Avoid chewing vitamin c tablets. If necessary, take vitamin c supplements that are swallowed whole.

Use sugar-free chewing gum after a meal to promote saliva flow.

Treatment for tooth erosion:

If your tooth has eroded, visit your dentist as the lost surface of the tooth needs to be replaced with dental fillings or crowns. It is very important to make regular visits to the dentist to identify tooth erosion at an early stage, determine the cause, and then develop a strategy to prevent further erosion.

Tips When Looking For The Perfect Dentist

It’s a very important decision to make while selecting a dentist as you need to be sure you find the right dentist. However, making a selection is not simple as it sounds. It could take a good amount of time and effort, here are some tips to find the perfect dentist.

Get referrals: you can start by listing down potential dentists. To do this you can ask your friends, family, and other healthcare providers you know for recommendations. Take time and research on the internet, social media about the reviews patients have mentioned about dentists in your list. After the list narrows down, you call each dentist to book an appointment to make face-to-face interaction.

Aim for convenience: this does not mean that you should select a dentist based on proximity to your home. You should also consider working hours so that it should be easy to schedule an appointment without affecting your job. You might consider that dentist who provides late hours on working days or even a few odd hours on weekends.

Be sure if a dentist can handle emergency visits: the dentist whom you are selecting can handle any emergency dental situation reason being some refer emergencies elsewhere. You should ask them how they will manage dental emergencies that occur after office hours and how to reach the dentist in that case.

Go through dentist credentials: to verify dentist education and credential’s the most important factor can be board certified. It tells you about the necessary training, skills and experience dentist has pursued in general dentistry. Also, to confirm that dentist has no history of malpractice or disciplinary actions.

Ask about telehealth capabilities: dentists can diagnose and can even treat some patients using technology like two-way video calls, email it’s called telehealth. Telehealth can never replace hand-on in-person office visits but for some patients, it can lower down their trips to the dentist’s clinic. Some dental conditions can also be managed by sending symptoms and vital signs collected at home and can have a virtual clinic visit. Telehealth can be used for minor complaints as well as for routine follow-ups making it a convenient option.

Communication style: try to choose a dentist with whom you are comfortable talking and who answers the information you need. When you first make an appearance with a dentist ask a question and notice how he or she reacts to your question. Does he or she welcomes your question and provides an answer which you can understand. Find a dentist who shows interest in your question and understands your treatment preference.

Know about insurance benefits:  if you want to take benefits of your insurance, then you want to find a dentist who is part of your provider’s network. This will save you a lot of expense and make dental care convenient, especially if the office submits the insurance claims for you.

Check if the office is clean and organized:  check for safety if staff is wearing gloves, how rooms are like, and technology they use during treatment. Try to go through the entire clinic for a look before making an appointment with the dentist.