Can medications be result in gum problems?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 5:31
Posted in category Health News

Up to three quarters of middle aged and older adults suffer from gum disease. It’s a surprise to learn that your medications can harm your gums. Here’s the reason.

Even though you are meticulous about dental hygiene and faithfully visit your dentist twice a year, it is still possible that you have gum disease. Experts estimate that 75% of individuals older than 35 are unaware that they suffer from some sort of gingival problems. Regrettably, ignorance will not keep you from developing more serious gum disease or periodontal disease, which can cause tooth loss and cosmetic issues. Medications are often overlooked as a major cause of gum problems. It might be wise to check out the medications that you take if you are worried about having healthy teeth and gums.

What medications can result in gum problems? Many common medications change the natural flow of saliva, causing you to have a dry mouth. Saliva is a natural substance that contains anti-bacterial agents that can help keep in check the bacteria that cause plaque to form and gum disease to develop. If there is not enough saliva, bad bacteria are more likely to grow and cause various gum problems, cavities, and malodorous breath.

Quite a few medications can cause gum problems; the culprits include anti-depressants, some blood pressure medications, and antihistamines. As a matter of fact, hundreds of drugs can cause you to experience dry mouth that could lead to gum disease. Possibly when you take these medication you notice that your mouth is dry or that you have a bad taste in your mouth. Even if you do not notice these things, your gum health may be deteriorating due to a lack of sufficient saliva.

What can be done if you are worried about your medicines resulting in gum issues? If your physician cannot find an alternative medication for you to take that would cause less mouth dryness, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

An alternative is to enjoy sugar free gum which contains xylitol. Chewing will encourage saliva production and the xylitol will help decrease the production of bacteria that can cause gum disease. Studies have shown that xylitol can reduce the possibility of dental cavities.

You will want to drink a good bit of water to stay hydrated. Research indicates that the catechins found in green tea are helpful in decreasing gum inflammation and help improve oral health. Drinking green tea during the day will help keep your mouth moist and it may also be helpful to the mouth and gums. Using a humidifier while you sleep can assist in keeping your mouth hydrated at night.

Remember to see your dentist regularly if you have gum issues caused by your medications. Removing plaque along the gum line on a regular basis can also be helpful in the prevention of possible gum disease.

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