How Medicine Can Affect Your Mouth, and What to Do About It
In general, medicines are supposed to make you feel better. But while they may bring relief from the specific symptoms you are suffering, several over-the-counter and prescription medicines can have an adverse effect on your oral health. And it can go beyond just leaving a metallic taste in the mouth.
The most common side effect of medicines on oral health is “dry mouth,” which means lack of adequate amounts of saliva in your mouth. While this might not sound like a big problem, dry mouth can give rise to serious health problems including gingivitis, tooth decay and mouth infections. That’s because saliva bathes your mouth in a protective solution that contains calcium ions. Without enough saliva, your mouth becomes vulnerable to disease.
According to WebMD, more than 400 medications are known to cause dryness of the mouth. Some common categories of medicine that have this side effect are as follows:
Allergy & asthma medication
Blood pressure drugs
Some vitamins, such as A, C, D & E
Here are some simple ways to counter the drying effects of your medicine and supplements:
If you think your medication might be responsible for dryness in your mouth, ask your doctor to prescribe another drug that does not cause this side effect.
Avoid using toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate, and also mouth rinses with alcohol in them. These increase dryness in the mouth.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the mouth hydrated.
Reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeine aggravates dryness of the mouth.
Breathe through your nose, not your mouth, so that the air flowing in and out of your mouth does not dry up the saliva even further.