Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Dentist Near Me

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health. Always let us know if you are taking any medicines or supplements and if those have changed since your last visit. 

Here are some common side effects of medications that can impact your oral health: 

Abnormal Bleeding 

Blood thinning and reduced clotting accompany the use of some medications. This can cause problems with excessive bleeding during treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. Your dentist needs to know if you are taking any medications or supplements before scheduling any treatment that may involve bleeding. 

Dry Mouth 

Many medications can cause reduced saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. 

Fungal Infection 

Oral Candidiasis is an oral fungal infection that can affect those who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler. 

Gum Tissue Enlargement 

Overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. Patients with this condition need to give special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation or decay. 

Soft Tissue Reactions 

Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of some medications. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen that can alleviate your discomfort. 

Tooth Decay 

While tooth decay is not directly a side effect of medication, several types of medicines use sugar to improve the flavor, especially those in liquid, chewable, and lozenge forms. When these are taken over a period of time, the sugars left on the teeth can make the patient more likely to develop tooth decay. When possible, select sugar-free versions of medications, take with meals, or rinse your mouth after taking a sugared medicine. 

Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, and can even lead to tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, contact your dentist immediately. 

Panther Lake Dental of Kent
Phone: (253) 854-1222
10920 SE 208th St.
Kent, WA 98031

Protecting Your Child’s Smile: The Importance of Mouth Guards in Sports | Kent, WA Dentist

Mouth guards are an essential piece of protective gear for children who play sports. Sports-related dental injuries can be serious, painful, and costly to treat. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, athletes who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to experience dental injuries. This is why it’s important to make sure your child wears a mouth guard when playing sports.

Mouth guards are designed to absorb shock and protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue from injury during sports. They can help prevent broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, and cuts or bruises to the mouth. They can also prevent concussions by reducing the impact of a blow to the jaw.

There are different types of mouth guards available. Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to wear, but they may not fit well and can make it difficult to breathe or speak. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are made from thermoplastic material that softens in hot water and can be molded to fit the child’s teeth. Custom-fitted mouth guards are made by a dentist and provide the best fit and protection.

When choosing a mouth guard, it’s important to consider the type of sport your child plays, as well as the child’s age and size. Some sports, such as football, hockey, and wrestling, have a higher risk of dental injury than others, so a more protective mouth guard may be necessary. Younger children may need a smaller mouth guard that fits their smaller teeth and mouth.

In addition to protecting teeth, mouth guards can also improve performance by helping to stabilize the jaw and reduce muscle fatigue. They can also help athletes breathe better, which can improve endurance.

It’s important to make sure your child’s mouth guard fits properly and is in good condition. A mouth guard that is too loose or too tight can be uncomfortable and may not provide adequate protection. Mouth guards should be replaced if they become worn or damaged.

Overall, mouth guards are an important piece of protective gear for children who play sports. They can help prevent serious dental injuries and improve performance. Parents should encourage their children to wear mouth guards and help them choose the right type and fit. By taking these precautions, parents can help ensure that their children stay safe and healthy while playing sports. For more information on how you can keep your child’s smile safe while playing sports, contact our dental office to schedule a consultation. 

Panther Lake Dental of Kent
Phone: (253) 854-1222
10930 SE 208th St.
Kent, WA 98031