Many Vancouver South dentists deal with patients who, either on occasion or regularly, use prescription medications to assist in dealing with their health issues. But, the trouble is, as most of us already know, any kind of drug will usually have some sort of side effects. For the most part, if your doctor has prescribed a medication, they’ll have advised you about any possible side effects and they will have discussed what impact these may have. Normally, your doctor will only prescribe you medication if they believe that the benefits outweigh the downside.
One of the side effects that most people are completely unaware of is effect that the medication can have on your oral health. These effects can include symptoms such as dry mouth. Many medications including anti depressants, blood pressure medication, allergy medication and decongestants suppress the production of saliva.
Why is lack of saliva a problem? One of the effects of less saliva is that your gums dry out and the cells die. This is not good.
Another reason it’s not good is that saliva contains protective enzymes that help protect against bacteria. The less saliva, the less protective enzymes there will be present in your mouth, and of course, the more bacteria, the higher the risk of harmful bacteria getting out of control and the higher the risk of gum or periodontal disease.
It’s not just your family doctor who is concerned when you begin to experience dry mouth symptoms. Your family dentist is also concerned when you have dry mouth syndrome – the reason is that the mouth is like an incubator nurturing the bacteria which can grow in these favorable conditions and eventually wreak havoc on the rest of your body.
Your family dentist will also advise you to have your teeth professionally cleaned, not only regularly, but also before you have any major medical procedure especially one such as a joint replacement.
The reason for this is that while you’re in hospital you’re exposed to more bacteria than normal and when you’ve had a major medical procedure, your body is vulnerable to infection.It’s very possible that the medications you’ll receive will cause dry mouth symptoms and allow the bacteria to which you’re exposed to grow unchecked. By having a professional dental cleaning, you’re removing excess bacteria in your mouth and making it less hospitable for bacteria to proliferate.
This of course helps to offset the natural vulnerability to infection you may experience after any major surgery or illness.
It’s just one more reason to make your Vancouver family dentist your partner in your wellness regime. Family dentists want to work with you to achieve optimum oral and dental health – which positively impacts your overall health. Be sure to make your Vancouver South dentist one of your first stops before you go to hospital!
If you haven’t been into your family dentist in a while, call them today to set a time for a check up. It’s a wise precaution before surgery.