As we age, it is common to require medications to help keep our bodies performing at optimal levels. In fact, it is said that 90 percent of people over the age of 65 are taking at least one prescription medication regularly. Whether they’re over-the-counter medicines like aspirin or prescription drugs for longstanding medical conditions, medications definitely can make life better. Unfortunately, as beneficial as they are, some prescriptions can make things worse for our oral health. That’s because they can cause side effects that, if left untreated, can pose oral health issues that should be addressed. Here are a few types of medications and their impact on your oral health.
Blood thinners are used for thinning the blood in patients with a high risk of stroke or heart disease. But they can cause complications during dental procedures. By nature, these medications make your blood thinner, and thus make it harder for your blood to clot and for you to stop bleeding. If you are taking blood thinners and need a dental procedure or cleaning, it’s not a lost cause – just speak to Dr. Garcia about your medications so he is aware of the issue and can act accordingly.
Antidepressants and antihypertensive medications may do entirely different things in the body, but their side effects can be the same. That is, they can both cause dry mouth. Dry mouth may not seem like that big of a deal, but it is a pretty big deal to your oral health. That’s because without the moisture of saliva in your mouth, you cannot wash away harmful bacteria, and you are leaving your teeth vulnerable to bad breath, cavities and even gum disease.
If you find that your medication is causing dry mouth, speak to Dr. Garcia, as there are prescription and over-the-counter products designed to combat this problem and protect your oral health.
Bisphosphonates are a category of medications used to treat the bones for osteoporosis. These medications can complicate any oral surgery that involves the bones – namely dental implant surgery – because they block the bones from healing properly. If you are currently taking this form of medication and need dental implants, speak to Dr. Garcia about whether dental implants are right for you.
Don’t despair if you are taking a medication that may affect your oral health, as there are often solutions to these issues. Dr. Garcia is happy to discuss oral health alternatives with you, so don’t be afraid to be honest about which medications you’re taking.
To discuss any oral health issues, please call Dr. Garcia at (305) 595-4616.