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A Closer Look at How Your Medications Are Affecting Your Teeth

Dec 11, 2023
 A Closer Look at How Your Medications Are Affecting Your Teeth
Curious about the connection between medications and your oral health? From dry mouth to tooth decay, decode the mystery in our latest blog.

We often think about the benefits and potential side effects of medications on our overall health, but have you ever considered how they might impact your oral health? Your teeth and gums can be sensitive indicators of changes in your body, and certain medications can play a significant role in oral health. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how various medications might be affecting your teeth. Whether it’s addressing dry mouth or combatting tooth decay, our experts, Nikhil Lavana, DMD and Archana Karkhanis-Lavana, DMD, and the dedicated team at Family Dental Group have the expertise to navigate every challenge.

In the meantime, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know to proactively avoid potential issues in the future and maintain your healthy smile. 

The connection between medications and dry mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common side effect of many medications. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, washing away debris, and preventing tooth decay. When your mouth is dry, these protective functions are compromised. 

Common medications

Antidepressants, antihistamines, and medications for high blood pressure are often associated with dry mouth. 

Impact on oral health

Reduced saliva can lead to an increased risk of cavities, gum, disease, and oral infections. 

Combatting dry mouth 

Staying hydrated, using sugar-free gum or lozenges, and using a humidifier at night can help alleviate dry mouth symptoms. 

The surprising link between medications and gum disease 

Certain medications, particularly those that affect the immune system or have a side effect of gum overgrowth, can contribute to gum disease. 


Medications prescribed after organ transplants can compromise the immune response, making the gums more susceptible to infections. 

Anti-seizure medications

Some medications used to control seizures may cause gum overgrowth, making it challenging to maintain proper oral hygiene. 

Preventing gum disease

Regular dental checkups, meticulous oral hygiene, and communication with our team about potential side effects are crucial in preventing gum disease associated with medications. 

How medications can influence tooth decay

Believe it or not, some medications can contribute to tooth decay in different ways. 


Those containing sugar can be detrimental to teeth, as they provide an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. 

Cough syrups

High sugar content in some cough syrups can contribute to tooth decay, especially when taken before bedtime without proper oral care afterward. 

Liquid medications

Children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay from liquid medications that often contain sugars and acids.

Preventing tooth decay

Opt for sugar-free medications when available, rinse your mouth with water after taking syrups, and maintain regular dental checkups. 

Ultimately, understanding the impact of medications on your oral health is a crucial aspect of comprehensive health care. Communicating regularly with our team of experts, maintaining meticulous oral hygiene practices, and being aware of potential side effects can help mitigate any adverse effects on your teeth. 

If you’re ready to learn more, request an appointment with Family Dental Group online at our Gardner, Northborough, or Paxton, Massachusetts office today!