Over 40 million Americans are on anti-depressants to combat the effects of depression, anxiety, phobias and even PMS. Over 50 million are on blood pressure medication. If you are one of these medications, before you pop one of these pills be aware that there are side effects that are harmful to the health of your mouth. Without proper precautions, these medications can result in the production of less saliva causing dry mouth. This creates problems for your mouth, teeth, and gums because not only does saliva help in breaking down food, it also helps protect and repair your teeth from the constant assault of bacteria. Therefore, it is important to have a constant flow of saliva in your mouth.
Those taking anti-depressant medications show a rate of dental decay almost four times higher than normal. This is why you need to make your dentist aware of any medications that you take, like antidepressants and blood pressure medication that prevent saliva flow. Your dentist can help you in relieving symptoms of dry mouth, and help you avoid tooth decay. Below are some of the tips that can help you in preventing decay while on medication.
- Take sips of water throughout the day. Make sure you have at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
- Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
- Make chewing and swallowing easier by drinking frequently while eating
- Avoid spicy foods, or any drinks that are irritants like coffee
- Go for your regular check-ups with your dentist.
- Avoid sticky, sugary foods, candies or gums, or brush shortly after.
- Avoid commercial mouthwashes because these rinses contain alcohol which contributes to dry mouths. Ask your dentist to prescribe a special mouthwash for you.