It’s standard practice for healthcare providers to find out which medications their patients are taking. Our patients sometimes wonder why we ask them about prescription medications before their dental procedure.
Some drugs—prescription or over-the-counter—can impact oral health or dental treatment.
Heparin/warfarin and other anticoagulants can result in abnormal bleeding because they affect your ability to clot. If you undergo oral surgery, it’s vital for your dentist to know if you are taking these drugs.
Some cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, respiratory inhalants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, and smoke deterrent drugs have been known to a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth. This doesn’t necessarily affect dental treatment, but overdoing sugary breath mints increases your risk of tooth decay.
Do you feel as though your gums are significantly bigger in proportion to your teeth?
Enlarged gum tissue (in dental speak ‘gingival hyperplasia’) is an overgrowth of the gum tissue around your teeth. Gingival hyperplasia can make your gums appear more prominent than your teeth. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene or meds. These include antiseizure drugs, calcium channel blockers (nifedipine, verapamil, and diltiazem), or immunosuppressants. If you are taking these drugs, make sure you are paying close attention to your teeth and gum care.
Over 400 meds can cause or complicate dry mouth. This long list includes, but is not limited to; antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medicines, and muscle relaxers.
Chronic dry mouth can boost the risk of decay. Saliva contains minerals that help enamel stay strong. Saliva also plays a role in controlling plaque.
When you come into Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for your dental process, be prepared to let us know which prescription meds you are taking along with the dosage. This helps us provide the exceptional dental care you deserve.
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