This article, part 5 of 5, explores the top bad habits that could be wrecking the enamel of your teeth and increasing your vulnerability to tooth decay and gum disease. In this article, the final of our five-part blog series on the bad habits that contribute to the deterioration of oral health, this dual-degreed oral surgeon in Chicago Loop will be exploring the risks of certain prescription and over-the-counter medications before providing some final advice.
Certain medications have been shown to contribute directly and indirectly to tooth decay and loss. In fact, research has shown that as many as 40% of people take at least one medication, be it prescription or over-
the-counter, that could cause tooth loss. Here are some offenders, advises this oral surgeon in Chicago Loop:
Medications that cause dry mouth: Saliva plays an integral role in protecting the teeth from bacteria and reducing acidity and sugar in the mouth. Certain substances in your saliva are also important for the remineralization of your teeth after eating. Medications that cause dry mouth, such as antihistamines, can therefore leave your teeth particularly vulnerable to bacteria and acidity, cautions this oral surgeon in Chicago Loop.
Medications that interfere with hormone levels: Contraceptives and anti-depressants, if taken chronically, can actually lead to acute oral bacterial infection and gum disease, warns this oral surgeon in Chicago. It is important that you take these kinds of medications under the close supervision of a medical doctor, while going for regular check-ups with the dentist. Preventative care will ensure that problems, if any, are diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
Sugar-rich Medications and Aspirin: Certain medications contain sugar, such as cough syrups, to make them more palatable. This dual-degreed oral surgeon in Chicago Loop advises that while necessary, patients should rinse their mouth out with water after taking these kinds of medications and avoid chronic use. He also warns that aspirin is very acidic and should be swallowed with water, not chewed, as this can damage the enamel of the tooth.
In addition to these drug classes, says this oral surgeon in Chicago Loop, certain asthma medicine, antihypersensitive, immunosuppressive, epilepsy and blood pressure medications can negatively affect the health of your teeth and gums. While many of these are prescribed by a licensed physician, it is important that the patient is aware of the risks and takes additional measures to protect their oral health. And here is some final advice from this oral surgeon in Chicago on how to do this
When taking any kind of medication, it is vitally important that you understand what the implications are for your oral health. This is especially true of chronic medications, says this dual-degreed oral surgeon in Chicago Loop. Make sure to ask your treating physician and oral and maxillofacial surgeon what these possible implications are and convey this information to your dentist so that he or she can take this into account when managing the health of your teeth and gums.
And so, having explored all the various habits and lifestyle choices that could be putting your beautiful smile and long term oral health at risk, here is the take-home message from this oral surgeon in Chicago:
1. Look after your teeth everyday, which means regular brushing and flossing;
2. Avoid and quit bad habits, such as smoking, excessive coffee-drinking and guzzling sugar-rich colas instead of water;
3. Seek treatment for existing problems (Bruxism, decay, cavities, infection, etc.)
And remember, says this oral surgeon in Chicago, preventative care is always better than cure!