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:



Lung inhalers

Parkinson’s disease medications

Seizure medications

Anti-anxiety medications

Narcotic pain medications

Anti-spasm medications

Alzheimer’s disease medications


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.


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.