The Link Between Dry Mouth and Women’s Medications
Statistics have shown that women may be more susceptible to dry mouth. A good amount of medications on the market, specifically made for women, list dry mouth as a potential side effect. Some of these medications include antidepressants, blood pressure pills, birth control pills, and cancer treatments. If you or a loved one takes any of these medications, it is important to know how they can affect your oral health.
Xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth, can lead to a whole host of dental problems due to the lack of saliva production in the oral cavity. These problems can include periodontal disease (also called gum disease) and a high rate of tooth decay. Women who have never had a cavity in their life and start one of these medications can suddenly develop all sorts of dental issues.
Why Does Dry Mouth Cause Dental Problems?
Healthy saliva production is a critical part of maintaining your oral health. Saliva washes away unwanted bacteria and cleans the oral cavity. When normal saliva flow is disrupted, harmful bacteria accumulate within the mouth and cannot be flushed out by saliva, causing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Many women who take certain medications that reduce saliva production do not realize its harmful side effects. Additionally, many birth control pills can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums. Certain cancer treatments can also make women more susceptible to saliva gland damage and other oral problems.
To help manage xerostomia, women can purchase over the counter saliva substitutes that help increase saliva production. Another option is home fluoride treatments. These include custom-made fluoride trays, over-the-counter fluoride rinses, and prescription strength fluoride toothpastes.
The benefits of these medications outweigh the risks associated with dry mouth. Women who suffer from dry mouth as a side effect should attend regular dental examinations to maintain good oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about dry mouth or medications you take, make an appointment with your Longmeadow dentist today.