Medication & Gum Health
Medications and Periodontal Health
- Effect of systemic drug therapy on periodontium can range from various adverse effects on periodontal tissues to increased periodontal breakdown to affording some degree of protection.
- Drug induced gingival overgrowth are well known adverse reactions of systemic medications like phenytoin, cyclosporine and calcium channel blockers.
- The nature and the course of periodontal disease can also be affected by those medications that interact with immune and inflammatory responses like anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.
- Dry mouth, abnormal bleeding from gums, altered taste, inflammation of soft tissues of mouth, enlarged gums, color change of teeth and gums are some of the common side effects of medications affecting oral health.
- Antihistamines, decongestants, antihypertensives, antidepressants, sedatives, painkillers, blood thinners, oral contraceptives are some of the medications that can impact oral health.
Line of Treatment
- Patients taking medications impacting periodontal health may need adjunctive plaque control agents and more rigorous monitoring of the status of the periodontal tissues.
- Patients taking aspirin or other anticoagulants should inform dentist beforehand about these medications. Use of a soft toothbrush with gentle strokes and flossing might reduce the chances of bleeding.
- For the patients taking medications that causes dryness of oral cavity, frequent sipping of water, chewing sugarless gum and regular brushing is necessary.
- Gums enlargement or overgrowth requires professional diagnosis and management. Depending on severity, dentist may consult physician to substitute a drug or may perform prophylaxis followed by gum surgery if overgrowth interferes with function or esthetics of the patient.
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