Medications And Oral Health

When you walk through the pharmaceutical section of a grocery store, you will see rows and rows of medicines. There are all sorts of drugs—from prescription to over-the-counter—used to treat illnesses. However, though these drugs may help some parts of the body, they can cause harm to others. Here are some of the medications which can have negative side effects on oral health.

Dry Mouth

This is one of the most common side effects of medication use. When there is not enough saliva in the mouth, your risk for tooth decay increases because saliva neutralizes acid, cleans away food, and helps rebuild tooth enamel. There are many drugs which can create a dry mouth, including:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Painkillers
  • High blood pressure medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Antidepressants
  • Parkinson’s disease medication
  • Antacids

Abnormal Bleeding

Medication that thins the blood may be beneficial for the heart, but it can be harmful during oral surgeries. These medications include:

  • Aspirin
  • Anticoagulants


Thrush is a fungal infection which causes white lesions to develop in the mouth. There are many possible causes of thrush, including the use of medications like:

  • Respiratory inhalants
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Chemotherapy

Oral Tissue Problems

The tissue inside your mouth can develop sores, inflammation, or discoloration with the use of medications like:

  • Immunosuppressive agents
  • High blood pressure medication
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Chemotherapeutic agents

If you take medications and are experiencing negative side effects in the mouth, speak with your dentist. They will help to reverse any oral health problems caused by medication use.