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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Tontra Lowe, DDS
Pain Medications Can Impact Your Mouth
Awesome Smiles Dental Care
. http://awesomesmilesva.com/

Pain Medications Can Impact Your Mouth

Did you know that taking medications either by prescription or through recreational activities for pain can lead to issues with your mouth? Bad breath, dry mouth, and generalized decay are just a few of the awful, sometimes painful results.  Careful use of any drug is key to managing your medical or dental condition.  Here are a few key steps to reduce the impact of your medicines on your mouth.

  • Step 1– Take all medications as prescribed by your doctor.  When you follow the directions for optimal use, you can sometimes spot side effects quicker.  Drinking more liquids or using the restroom more often are signs that you may be suffering from dry mouth. Dry mouth is a reduction in healthy saliva that may lead to decay, fractured teeth, need for root canals, or loss of teeth.  You can access medical benefits to treat effects in the mouth such as implants, crowns, or bridges.
  • Step 2– Minimize recreational drug use.  The negative impact on your mouth may include discoloration of oral tissues, bad breath, and poor oral hygiene.  When you use drugs that interfere with your normal cleaning routine, you collect large amounts of plaque that harbor millions of germs.  Those germs could ultimately lead to periodontal disease and decay.
  • Step 3– Seek medical attention if you develop an addiction.  Opioid use has skyrocketed in the nation, and seeking professional help is key to re-establishing your confidence.  Deep, dark cavities at the gum line, ”soft” enamel that brushes off, and severely decayed teeth that break easily are commonly associated with people with drug addictions.  The drugs cause behaviors to change, and most don’t recognize or care that their oral hygiene and eating habits change for the worse.  The stigma associated with this excessive drug use is hard to overcome. Seeking treatment by your dental professional to remove brown stains, treat decayed teeth with crowns or bridges, or replace non-restorable teeth with implants or dentures may be covered by your medical insurance.

Taking multiple medications for pain or anything else can impact your mouth.  Using medical insurance to help cover fees for treatment of the mouth can save you thousands of dollars.  You already pay hefty premiums so why not use them?  Make sure to see your dental professional for questions related to how multiple medications can negatively impact your mouth and overall health.

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