by Sepi Fatahi DMD
The regular use of illegal drugs can also cause significant tooth damage. Drugs that pose a significant risk to your oral health are:
* Cannabis – This can cause dry mouth and can lead to an increased risk of gum problems. The smoke can cause oral cancer.
* Cocaine – Users sometimes rub cocaine over their gums which causes ulceration of gums and the underlying bone. When cocaine mixes with saliva it creates an acidic solution which erodes tooth enamel. Cocaine and crack cocaine cause dry mouth, which further increases the risk of tooth decay. Often users will grind their teeth (bruxism) which causes the teeth to wear down.
* Ecstasy – Side effects of the drug include bruxism (tooth grinding), jaw clenching and dry mouth.
* Heroin – Often users can crave sweet foods, which can increase the risk of tooth decay if dental hygiene is neglected. Heroin can also cause dry mouth and bruxism (tooth grinding).
* Methamphetamine – This drug causes severe and rapid tooth decay. Dental professionals have coined the term ‘meth mouth’ to describe the extensive damage typically caused by this drug. Methamphetamine is highly acidic and attacks tooth enamel. Other side effects include dry mouth, bruxism and jaw clenching.
Many years ago patients were routinely prescribed antibiotics to take before dental procedures if they had heart murmurs or other mild heart conditions. Antibiotics were taken several days before and after dental procedures in these patients.
By Dr. Sepi Fatahi
Wisdom teeth may not need to be removed if they are:
Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially emerge through the gums. Other times, they remain completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that aren’t able to emerge normally become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw.
If the wisdom teeth emerge partially through the gums, a passageway is created, which can cause problems. And because this area is hard to see and clean, it can become a magnet for bacteria that cause gum disease and oral infection.
Some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth if they don’t fully emerge or if they grow near the nerve of the lower jaw. Many dentists believe it’s better to remove wisdom teeth before the roots are fully formed, when someone is younger and more likely to recover faster from surgery. This is why some young adults have their wisdom teeth pulled before the teeth cause problems and become more firmly rooted in the jaw.
According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as:
The decision to remove wisdom teeth isn’t always clear. Talk to your dentist or an oral surgeon about the position and health of your wisdom teeth and what’s best for your situation.
Effects of taking medications for different diseases that cause xerostomia
By Dr. H. Kopel
We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. If saliva flow is reduced or non existent then a condition called xerostomia results. Xerostomia or dry mouth may be caused by medications.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, colds (antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma. Xerostomia can also result from certain muscle relaxants and sedatives.
When prescription medications are suspected of causing dry mouth symptoms the patient should return to their medical doctor for substitute medications or adjustment of dosage to current medication.
Here is a list of the top 15 prescribed drugs that are associated with xerostomia:
1. Hydrocodone and Acetaminaphen, narcotic
2. Lisinopril (Prinivil /Zestril), antihypertensive
3. Simvastin (Zocor), antiperlipidemic
4. Amlodipine (Norvasc), antihypertensive
5. Alprazolam (Xanax), anti-anxiety
6. Hydrochlorothiazide, diuretic
7. Omeprazole (Prilosec), anti-ulcer agent
8. Lipitor, antihyperlipidemic
9. Furosemide (Lasix), diuretic
10. Metoprolol (Lopressor), antihypertensive
11. Sertaline (Zoloft), antidepressant
12. Metoprolol (Toprol), antihypertensive
13. Zolpidem (Ambien), seadtive/hypnotic
14. Oxycodone and Acetaminophen, narcotic
15. Citalopram (Celexa), antidepressant
Side effects of antidepressants and sedatives on teeth and gums
by Dr. Nadia Abazarnia
The side effects of psychotropic drugs may cause dental problems.
You may be prescribed psychotropic drugs either for a mental illness or to manage severe anxiety associated with dental procedures. When these drugs are used they can cause problems such as dry mouth, bruxism, surgical bleeding, hyper salivation which need preventive dental care.
Dry mouth or Xerostomia
Most antidepressants can cause dry mouth. Dental management of a patient with dry mouth requires:
Grinding of the teeth or Bruxism
It is occasionally seen with antipsychotics, antidepressants. Bruxism involves grinding of the teeth, and leads to excessive dental attrition. The complications can be reduced by the use of an occlusal splint.
Antidepressants and some anticonvulsant drugs, can impairs platelet aggregation which can potentiate surgical bleeding and this may occur in dental patients.
Drug-induced excess salivation Excess saliva may compromise dental materials during dental treatment and create a difficult working environment for the dentist and pose a risk of aspiration. Anticholinergic drugs can be used for patients suffering hyper salivation, before dental work, in addition to standard measures for maintaining a dry field.
Enlarging Gums Also known as Gingival Overgrowth, the Enlarging Gums are caused by the Immunosuppressant Drugs, Calcium Channel Blockers, and Anti-seizure Medications etc.
Preventing side effects of medications
It is not advisable to stop the medications for the fear of the side effects affecting the oral health adversely. What is required is that you let your dentist know that you are taking these medications. Also, you should inform your doctor or physician if you are experiencing any side effects.