It’s standard practice for healthcare providers to find out which medications their patients are taking. At Staten Island Dental Care, our patients sometimes wonder why we ask them about prescription medications before their dental procedure.
Some medications—prescription or over-the-counter—can influence oral health or dental treatment.
Heparin/warfarin and other anticoagulants can bring about abnormal bleeding, because they affect your ability to clot. If you undergo oral surgery, it’s essential for your dentist to know if you are taking these meds.
Some cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, respiratory inhalants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, and smoke deterrent drugs have been known to a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth. This doesn’t necessarily affect dental treatment, but overdoing sugary breath mints increases your risk of tooth decay.
Do you feel as though your gums are significantly bigger in proportion to your teeth?
Enlarged gum tissue (in dental speak ‘gingival hyperplasia’) is an overgrowth of the gum tissue around your teeth. Gingival hyperplasia can make your gums appear more prominent than your teeth. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene or prescription medications. These include antiseizure drugs, calcium channel blockers (nifedipine, verapamil, and diltiazem), or immunosuppressants. If you are taking these drugs, be sure you are paying close attention to your teeth and gum care.
Over 400 meds can trigger or exacerbate dry mouth. This long list includes, but is not limited to; antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medicines, and muscle relaxers.
Chronic dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities. Saliva contains minerals that help enamel stay strong. Saliva also plays a role in controlling plaque.
When you come into Staten Island Dental Care for your dental visit, be prepared to let us know which prescription meds you are taking along with the dosage. This helps us provide the exceptional dental care you deserve. Our services include general and restorative dentistry, and specialties like dental implants. Call today!