The health of your teeth and gums are dependent on several factors, one of the most notable being adequate saliva production. Your teeth were meant to be protected by your saliva—when there’s not enough saliva present, your entire mouth suffers. This can influence gum disease, bad breath, cavities, and more! Medications are often responsible for causing dry mouth in many people and negatively affecting oral health. It’s important that you talk with your dentist about which medications you’re taking and any oral health symptoms you’re experiencing. Here are some of the top medications that can impact your oral health.
High Blood Pressure or Heart Medications
Medications for high blood pressure such as alpha or beta blockers and calcium channel blockers can all cause dry mouth. Some of these medications may also be used to help treat other conditions such as heart complications or even diabetes. These include medications such as Verelan, Tiazac, and Norvasc. Let your dentist know if you’re taking medication for high blood pressure or your heart!
Antidepressants or Antipsychotic Medications
These include medications that can help with depression as well as bipolar disorder or even schizophrenia. Dry mouth is a very typical symptom associated with antidepressants or antipsychotic medications. These include medications such as Abilify, Risperdal, and Seroquel. Some of these medications are also used to treat attention deficient disorder (ADD) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as well.
Pain medications are infamous for causing a dry mouth sensation! These medications have an antisecretory effect on the body, meaning that they reduce the secretion of normal body fluids such as saliva when taken. Pain medications may be taken regularly for chronic pain or only prescribed for certain temporary conditions or surgeries. Pain medications include codeine, Demerol, and Vicodin. These are only available through a prescription and should only be taken under the guidance of a physician.
Antihistamines commonly help with seasonal allergy symptoms such as a runny nosy or itchy, watering eyes. You may also experience dry mouth while taking these medications. They’re commonly available over the counter but may also come as prescription. People may take these medications regularly or only during allergy seasons. Examples of antihistamines include Zyrtec, Benadryl, and Allegra.
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for a variety of bacterial infections or illnesses and can also cause dry mouth. Not all antibiotics cause this side effect—the most notable ones are antibiotics for sinus infections, pneumonia, and ear infections. Such antibiotics include amoxicillin and Zmax. It’s always important to drink lots of water when taking a round of antibiotics. Sipping water can help you to replenish your saliva throughout the day!
There are over 400 medications that could cause you to have dry mouth—these are just a few! Could your medicine be one of them? Talk to your doctor or dentist about your medications, especially if you’re experiencing dry mouth or notice a decline in your oral health. You could need treatment to ensure your mouth will remain healthy while taking your medication!