Do you take prescription drugs every day? You’re far from alone. According to Georgetown University, about 66 percent of American adults take at least one prescription medication. When you factor in over-the-counter medicines, like antihistamines for allergies and congestion, that number climbs even higher.
Modern medicine has enabled millions of people to stay healthy and function at their best. However, these medications can also have a direct, negative impact on teeth and gums. In this blog post, you’ll learn how those drugs that cause dry mouth can be detrimental to your smile and how you can fight back with tips from your dentist in Indianapolis.
Dangers of Drugs and Dry Mouth
Many medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants, and some blood pressure medications, have been shown to slow down saliva production and cause dry mouth. This warm, stagnant environment is the perfect setup for harmful bacteria to thrive, drastically increasing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral problems.
Ways to Fight Dry Mouth
In many cases, you can’t change your prescription. You may even need it to survive! But that doesn’t mean that your smile needs to suffer. Here are some methods of keeping your teeth and gums protected from harmful effects of dry mouth.
Floss and Brush Daily
These are basic habits everyone knows they should do, but brushing and flossing are crucial every day to prevent bits of food and bacteria from turning into plaque. To be completely thorough, make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes twice per day and flossing in the evening before you go to bed.
Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
If you suffer from dry mouth, you can help your mouth stay moist by sipping water occasionally throughout the day. Drinking water, which is sugar and calorie free, helps to flush out bacteria and neutralize acids that lead to tooth decay.
Go to the Dentist Twice a Year
Even if you’re diligent every day with your oral healthcare routine, you still need regular dental visits to keep your smile strong. During these appointments, your dentist can check your mouth for issues and provide early treatment so that you don’t have to experience pain later on.
Ask for Product Recommendations
There are many products out there on the market. Some reinforce tooth enamel with fluoride while others kill bacteria, and it can be tricky to determine the right products for your dry mouth. During your appointment, ask for your dentist’s opinion about which ones can be most beneficial for you.
If you want to avoid needing to see an emergency dentist in Indianapolis while you’re taking certain medications, you need to keep your mouth moist, clean, and healthy. Staying on top of your oral health means that you can continue to smile with confidence.
About the Practice
Dr. Mark Farthing founded Indianapolis Family Dentistry in 1985. He is partners with Dr. Armin Tepner, who has joined the practice in 1997 but has been practicing since 1984. They both have continued to hone his skills in dentistry by training with the prestigious Dawson Academy. They are also both members of the Implant Study Club. If you have dry mouth and need an appointment with either Dr. Farthing or Dr. Tepner, you can contact Indianapolis Family Dentistry for an appointment here.