If you are experiencing problems with tooth decay, your oral healthcare routine may not be at fault. Some of the medications you are taking may be the problem. Both legal and illegal substances can take a toll on your teeth. You need to understand the risk and take preventative measures if your medications threaten your oral health.
Certain drugs can cause your mouth to be dry, which in addition to being uncomfortable, can adversely affect your teeth. A healthy amount of saliva helps lower the amount of harmful bacteria and acids in your mouth. Certain components of saliva also help to repair enamel by remineralizing it. Medications such as antihistamines and chemotherapy drugs can limit the saliva that your mouth produces. Marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, and meth can also cause dry mouth in addition to a number of other harmful dental effects.
You can ease dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum, sipping on water consistently, and reducing your caffeine intake. You can also buy some OTC products that help with the problem.
Tooth stains can happen throughout your life, but those that occur when you are young are particularly troublesome. Children who swallow fluoride or simply get too much through toothpaste, water, and other products can have off-white patches develop on their teeth. Eventually, these spots can become much darker and quite noticeable. You need to monitor the amount of fluoride you and your children are ingesting. Over-the-counter tooth whitening products may remove these stains if used properly and under the guidance of an oral health care professional.
People who use methamphetamine have notoriously bad teeth. Much of the damage is done by the high acidic content of the drug, although the teeth grinding that meth addicts do also severely damages their teeth. Often, their teeth will turn black, signaling a serious problem. Meth addicts may lose some or all of their teeth as a result of using this drug for any significant length of time. Tooth reconstruction will cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars, a cost that is out of reach for many.
Experts urge you to reveal your drug history to your dentist so that they know how to prevent and correct any problems. Even your allergy medication can cause you long-term dental problems if you are not careful. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to help prevent this damage, especially if you work closely with your dentist. To learn ore, contact a dental clinic like Minnesota Lakes Dental.