The Effect of Medication to your Oral Health

Why you need to declare any medications to your dentist

You may have noticed that every time you visit the dentist you are asked about your medical history.  On your first appointment you would have been given a medical history form to fill out detailing any illnesses or medication you may be taking.  This is because certain medication can have an effect on your oral health and the possibility of having certain dental treatments. It is in your best interest to declare any medication to your dentist, in order for them to provide the best possible care and treatment for your mouth.

Medication includes those prescribed by your dentist or even ones that you may buy from a chemist such as painkillers.  Don’t forget any vitamins too.


Common Side Effects of Medication

The most common side effect of taking medication regularly is a dry mouth.  Your mouth needs a constant flow of saliva in order for it to stay healthy.  When the flow of saliva is slowed your risk of tooth decay is increased.  This is because saliva helps to wash away food particles from your teeth and dilutes the acid which is produced by plaque, minimising the acid attack to your teeth.  The lack of saliva means there is nothing to stop this from happening.  

Its not just tablets that can cause problems but inhalers too.  When the medication is inhaled from the inhaler it can effect your gums, soft tissues and your tongue.  Prolonged use of inhalers may cause a fungal infection such as Thrush.  This appears as white spots in your mouth.  More medication will be needed to treat this.

Certain medication can also have an effect on your bone and may minimise the treatment options available to you.

If you regularly take blood thinners then this must be stated to the dentist.  Especially if oral surgery is planned or a tooth extraction.

If you take a variety of medications the best thing to do is to take a copy of a prescription to the dentist with you.  Its not always easy to remember which medication, how many you take and the strength you are on.  The dentist can then photocopy this into your notes.


Please be assured that anything declared to us at Cygnet Dental will be in strict confidence. We have a duty to our patients to provide top quality dentistry and to ensure that the patient – dentist relationship is followed at all times, just how you would have that patient – doctor relationship.