dentist doing a checkup

The Importance of Advising Your Dentist About Your Current Medications

Medications can sometimes have certain side effects that harm the mouth, causing conditions such as dry mouth or an increased risk of tooth decay. It is particularly important that your dentist is informed about any medications you are currently taking, including those that are prescribed as well as any supplements or vitamins you regularly consume. Dr Tony Heilberg’s Dental Practice in Cheltenham is the clinic that Bayside locals trust for friendly and professional dental care. Read on to learn about why it’s so important for your dentist to know about the medications you take.

Possible Side Effects

Your dentist will be able to tell you if the medication you take is likely to affect your teeth and advise a plan to help you prevent dental issues. Listed below are just some of the possible side effects that can occur with alongside the regular intake of medications.

  • Dry mouth
  • Inflammation
  • Mouth ulcers/sores
  • Discoloured or enlarged gums
  • Cavities
  • Teeth colour changes
  • Bone loss

Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects from medication. This happens when the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva and can cause:

  • Tooth decay and gum disease
  • Mouth sores
  • Oral thrush
  • Cracked lips
  • Problems chewing and swallowing resulting in poor nutrition

It is essential that you are open with your dentist about your health history and what medications you currently take.

Treatment Options

Dentists also consider your medications when deciding on the best treatment options for your dental care. Medications can interfere with one another and if you are taking any medications, it is important to disclose this to your dental practitioner so that they can prescribe appropriately for you without causing interference or negative reactions.

Bisphosphonates for Bone Health

It is very important for you to consult with your dentist before starting these drugs. Bisphosphonates are a group of drugs that work by slowing bone loss, and are used to reduce or prevent osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) or as part of cancer treatment.

Some bisphosphonate medications are taken orally, while others are administered intravenously to reduce bone pain and hypercalcemia of malignancy (abnormally high calcium levels in the blood), associated with metastatic breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma.

In rare instances, some people being treated with intravenous bisphosphonates have developed osteonecrosis of the jaw, a serious condition that involves severe loss, or destruction of the jawbone.

Treating Tooth and Gum Problems Related to Medications

If you experience any mouth or gum related issues as a side effect from a medication your dentist may suggest that you talk to your doctor about adjusting the dose or method of taking it. In some cases, you may be able to switch to another type of medicine that does not impact your oral health. If this is not possible, your dentist may suggest a combination of professional and in-home treatments to help protect your teeth and gums.

For a Friendly and Welcoming Dentist, Parkdale Families Choose Dr Tony Heilberg

If you are looking for an experienced dentist in the Bayside are of Melbourne including Mentone, Cheltenham, Beaumaris and Parkdale, get in touch with us today. If you are experiencing any medication-related mouth issues we are here to help with tailored treatment solutions to keep your teeth and gums happy and healthy. Request an appointment online or call us on (03) 9583 2233.