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Do you know that the medicines you take can affect your oral health? Generally, medications are designed to make us feel better. However, there are side effects of taking them. Using certain medicines can lead to dry mouth. Thus, changing the way you taste foods, and eventually, cause changes in your gums.

What Should My Dentist Know About My Medications?

Telling your dentist and dental hygienist about every medicine you take is crucial. Likewise, they will want to know how much and how often you take your medicines. Whether you are using vitamins, minerals, herbs, and natural health supplements, it is vital to inform your dentist about these medications.

Why Do My Dentist And Dental Hygienist Need To Know About My Medications?

Have you been taking certain medications for other health conditions? Here are some reasons why your dentist and dental hygienist should know about them:

Provide Safe Treatment

Your dentist and dental hygienist need to know all your medications and why you are taking them in order to treat you safely. Sometimes the medicines we take have side effects that can be important to dental treatment and oral health. When would my safety be a concern? 

Treat Dry Mouth Conditions and Dental Discomfort

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over 400 medicines and over-the-counter drugs can make your mouth feel dry. These include certain prescriptions for high blood pressure, depression, antihistamines, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and anxiety.

Furthermore, cold and allergy medicines can make your mouth dry. Untreated diabetes can also make your mouth feel dry. Not having enough to drink or dry indoor places can make our mouths feel parched.

Be sure to tell your dentist and dental hygienist if your mouth feels dry, uncomfortable, or painful so that they can help you. A dry mouth can add to your risk of getting cavities, gum disease, bad breath, mouth sores, and infections. It can also make it difficult to wear dentures and to chew and swallow food.

Treat Easy Bruising and Bleeding

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), some over-the-counter, prescription, and herbal medicines can make you bruise and bleed more easily. These include:

In addition, many herbal supplements also cause bleeding changes, including garlic, Ginkgo biloba, ginger, and ginseng. Tell your dentist and dental hygienist if you take any of these medicines.

Treat Drug-Related Taste Disturbance Issues

According to a drug-related taste disturbance article, over 250 medicines can change the way your food taste or smells. Some drugs cause a bad aftertaste in your mouth. Often people suck on hard candy, breath mints, or even cough drops to make their mouth feel better. Many of these contain sugar, which can lead to cavities. Use sugarless candies and breath mints instead.

If your medicine makes your mouth dry, you might have a problem tasting certain types of foods or foods that will taste bland. Do not use too much salt or sugar to make your food taste better. This can lead to more cavities, poor diabetes control, and higher blood pressure. Tell your physician or dentist if you notice changes in your sense of taste.

Treat Sores and Mouth Ulcers

Lastly, some drugs can cause sores on your cheeks, under or along the side of the tongue. These mouth ulcers can be painful and can make eating, speaking, and wearing dentures difficult. Tell your dentist or physician if you get mouth ulcers so they can determine the cause and change your medicine if necessary.


Many medicines can cause dangerous drug interactions with the medicines given in the dental office. These include pain relievers, sedatives, and anesthetics. Talk honestly and openly about your medication use. This allows your dental team to make good decisions about your treatment and helps to ensure your oral health and safety.