Published: 11/26/2018
Pile of prescription drug containersIf you have a family history of gum disease or are experiencing early signs of the condition (such as bleeding gums, increased tooth sensitivity or chronic halitosis), you may be wondering how to prevent it from progressing. In addition to seeing your periodontist for a consultation, you may also want to consider how your medication could be exacerbating your symptoms. Here are the surprising ways medication can potentially contribute to the development of gum disease.

Dry Mouth

Most drugs have side effects. Some may be relatively harmless, while others can create an oral environment where disease-causing bacteria can thrive. For example, some medications cause the mouth to become unnaturally dry by reducing saliva production. Although this may seem like a relatively benign symptom, it can cause your oral tissues to become inflamed and irritated. Over time, this chronic irritation can increase your risk of developing various oral infections, including gum disease. Here are a few of the medications known to cause dry mouth:
  • Antihistamines
  • Lung inhalers
  • Seizure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Certain blood pressure medications
  • Anti-nausea medicines
  • Isotretinoin (for the treatment of acne)
  • Antipsychotics
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Narcotic pain medication
If you take any of these medications, it is wise to talk to your periodontist about how to prevent periodontal disease.

Swelling of the Gums

Some medications can cause the gums to swell and grow over the teeth (gingival overgrowth). This unsightly and unnatural swelling can create an oral environment that favors undesirable bacteria and increases the likelihood of periodontal disease development. A few of the biggest medicinal culprits for gum swelling include:
  • Certain blood pressure medications (including amlodipine, verapamil, nifedipine and diltiazem)
  • Cyclosporine (an immunosuppressant used to prevent transplant rejection)
  • Phenytoin (seizure medication)
If you need to take any of these medications for your health, have a frank discussion with your periodontist about how you can combat gum swelling and keep your oral tissue as healthy as possible.

Schedule a Consultation

Drs. Mario Canal and partners offer a variety of leading-edge treatments for gum disease. To schedule a consultation with the respected periodontists, call Canal Calem Periodontics at either our Medford, NJ office or our Moorestown, NJ office. Talk to Us About an Appointment