Can Medications Cause Tooth Decay?

Millions of people across the globe take medications and are always warned about the side effects those medications may cause. However, patients don’t always fully understand all of these side effects and can be unaware that they may cause dental problems, in addition to the other side effects to the rest of the body.

According to researchers at the Salivary Dysfunction Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center, there are over 600 medications that cause dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay. Ordinarily, saliva helps to break down starches and sugars in the mouth. When the mouth becomes dry, less saliva is made and more acid-producing food lingers on the teeth.

In a recent study on the drug Clonidine, researchers “showed that rats receiving clonidine developed 84 percent more cavities on the smooth surfaces of their teeth than rats that were not on the medicine.” Without the presence of saliva to neutralize an acid, enamel is far more prone to breaking down over time. Since enamel cannot be replaced, this process poses a significant problem for dentists and patients. When patients have a dry mouth they can be more likely to drink liquids, and if people choose liquids high in sugar, such as juice or soda, the choice can lead to even more dental decay.

Patients taking medications should disclose the names of the medications to their dentist and report any feelings of dry mouth as soon as possible before the decay becomes advanced.

If you have any questions about medications and their dental side effects or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

Schedule a Free Consultation

We are dedicated to making your smile the brightest it can be. Fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation.

Notice to Website Viewers

The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. No doctor/patient relationship is established by your use of this site. No diagnosis or treatment is being provided. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, dentist, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical or dental condition. The information contained here should be used in consultation with a dentist of your choice. No guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained on this website. This website is not intended to offer specific medical, dental or surgical advice to anyone. Further, this website, the creators of the website, and the owners of the website take no responsibility for web sites hyper-linked to this site and such hyperlinking does not imply any relationships or endorsements of the linked sites. Reliance on any information provided by the Site or others appearing on the Site at our invitation, or other visitors to the Site is solely at your own risk.

Start typing and press Enter to search