The Link Between Medications and Cavities
You may wonder why you’re suddenly getting cavities when you haven’t had them in years. As we age, we begin somewhat of second phase of cavity prone years. A very common cause of cavities in adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. However, it is a side-effect of many medications, including those for allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases. This is just one reason why it’s so important to tell your dentist about any medications that you’re taking. Your dentist can make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and prevent cavities. Listed are some common recommendations:
- Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a spray or mouthwash without alcohol.
- Consult with your physician on whether to change the medication or dosage.
- Drink plenty of water. Carry a water bottle with you, constant sipping can bring some relief.
- Use sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production.
- Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.
- Avoid foods and beverages that irritate dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.
- Your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to protect your teeth from cavities.