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How Medicine Can Affect Your Mouth, and What to Do About It

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:

Antidepressants
Allergy & asthma medication
Anti-anxiety meds
Blood pressure drugs
Antacids
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.

 

Related:
12 Best and Worst Foods For Your Teeth
Ridiculously Simple Ways to Protect Your Teeth

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

90 comments

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3:13PM PDT on Jul 23, 2014

My dry mouth is only occasional but I do take my fair share of vitamins...

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3:05PM PDT on Jul 23, 2014

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3:50AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

I take a ton of medicines and vitamins. I never thought about them making my mouth so dry! Now I know why I drink so much water! Thanks for the info!

10:05PM PDT on May 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

9:40PM PDT on May 5, 2014

Thank you!

1:03AM PDT on May 5, 2014

thanks for the info

11:33AM PDT on May 3, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

12:32PM PDT on May 2, 2014

interesting

5:30AM PDT on May 2, 2014

Thanks

11:26AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

Dump the soda pops too. They don't hydrate well. And NO smoking, anything!

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