Are Your Medications Causing Tooth Decay?

Health & Fitness

  • Author Dr. Sanaz Hamzehpour
  • Published December 7, 2021
  • Word count 520

Did you know that tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease among children and adults alike? While many chalk this up to poor dental hygiene and lack of routine dental visits, one of the leading contributors is surprising: medication. As an experienced dentist, I can tell you that being familiar with the medications that can cause tooth decay is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, read on!

6 Medications That Can Cause Tooth Decay

When prescribed any medication, it’s important to have your doctor explain the potential side effects. Here is a list of a few that can lead to tooth decay:

• Blood pressure medications

• Antihistamines

• Decongestants

• Antacids

• Opioids

• Antidepressants

5 Additional Causes of Tooth Decay

There is no denying the prevalence of tooth decay. In fact, roughly 90% of Americans have had at least one cavity by their 21st birthday! While certain medications are no doubt a contributing factor, other common causes include:

• Dry mouth

• Unhealthy dental habits, like smoking

• Lack of a solid at-home oral care routine

• Forgoing biannual dental checkups and cleanings

• Eating sugar in excess

How to Protect the Look and Function of Your Smile

If one of the side effects of your medication is indeed tooth decay, don’t worry – that doesn’t mean you can’t significantly decrease your risk of developing cavities. The first step is to implement good oral hygiene practices, like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash regularly. Part of your at-home dental care regimen should include eating mouth-healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding unhealthy habits, like using tobacco products. Next, make sure to prioritize your six-month dental checkups and cleanings. If your dentist recommends a restorative dental treatment, don’t put it off! It could mean the difference between a filling and a root canal. Lastly, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only will this keep you hydrated and remove food particles from your teeth, but it will also offset the side effects of dry mouth, which is often the result of medications.

Tooth decay may be common, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. After all, if left untreated, it can lead to cavities and even tooth loss! So, if you take a medication that has tooth decay as a side effect, make sure to talk to your dentist. From there, they can share their insight on how to keep your smile cavity-free now and for years to come.

About the Author

Dr. Sanaz Hamzehpour has always had a passion for art and working with her hands. When she realized she could combine the two and make a difference in the lives of others in the process, she knew being a dentist was the only career for her. In fact, she even volunteered at a local dental office while completing her studies! She earned her dental doctorate from UCLA and has been serving patients ever since. If you have a question pertaining to your oral health, don’t hesitate to get in touch with her via her website or by phone at 310-424-3100.

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