Medications And Oral Health

A common side effect of many medications is dry mouth. Saliva helps to prevent food build up on your teeth and neutralises the acids produced by plaque. The acid can damage the hard coating of your teeth called the enamel. Dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay.

Medications That Can Cause Dry Mouth

Saliva cleans your mouth but if not enough is produced, it can leave you prone to dental decay and gum disease.

The most common types of medication that cause dry mouth are:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Pain killers
  • Antacids

What To Do About Dry Mouth

If your dry mouth is severe as a result of your medication, talk to your doctor and they may be able to recommend an alternative.


People who suffer with asthma will often use an inhaler. Inhaling medication through your mouth can cause an infection called oral thrush. This appears as white spots in your mouth and can be painful. To help prevent this, try rinsing your mouth after you use your inhaler.

Cancer Treatments

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause changes to the lining of the mouth and the salivary glands that produce saliva. This can affect the balance of bacteria and could lead to mouth sores, infections and tooth decay.

These are just a few examples of medications but there are many more. Speak to your dentist about any new medications you are taking so that they can provide the best care for you.

Tooth Replacement Options After An Extraction

After you undergo an extraction you will need to replace the tooth. If not replaced, the bones in your mouth can weaken and lose density. Other teeth might also shift, which could cause difficulty eating as well as speaking. There are multiple options to replace your extracted teeth.

1. Dental Implant

Implants are a fixed alternative to removable dentures that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Titanium screws are drilled into the jaw bone. Implants tend to be secure and feel like natural teeth, which makes them very popular.

2. Partial Denture

A partial denture is a plate with one or more false teeth attached to it. It may be all plastic or it may contain some metal too. Both types will have metal clasps to help the denture stay in place.

3. Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place by the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge is cemented in place and can only be removed by the dentist.

Why Is Tooth Replacement Necessary?

Patients can suffer from a wide range of negative consequences if they decide against a tooth replacement. A missing tooth affects the ability to eat. Forces may shift onto the adjoining teeth, which can cause damage.

Your appearance may also change. Not only will a missing tooth be visible in your smile, but as your teeth start to shift, it will affect the alignment of your mouth.

If you are interested to find out more about your options to replace a missing tooth, read more about implants here, or call us on 01723 670500.

Foods To Avoid For Healthy Gums

Gum disease is surprisingly common, with 90% of adults in the Uk estimated to have it. However, it can be prevented with a good oral hygiene routine and healthy diet. It would also help to avoid certain foods that affect the health of your gums.

Fizzy Drinks

You most likely already knew that sugary fizzy drinks are bad for your teeth, but did you know that even the diet drinks are harmful. This is because they contain acid which causes your enamel to become weakened and damaging your gums.


Unfortunately, tomatoes are very acidic which can weaken the structure of your teeth. Whilst tomatoes are healthy in many respects, they can be damaging to your gums if eaten regularly. When you do eat tomatoes, try to pair them with an acid neutralising food, such as cheese, nuts, lentils or tuna.


Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are high in natural sugars as well as being acidic which can erode your enamel and gums. There are other ways of obtaining vitamin C, such as eating vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and peas, or low acid fruits including honeydew melon and kiwi.


Have you ever eaten popcorn and then noticed that part of a kernel had become stuck between your teeth? This can then cause some difficulty in being removed. This could promote bacterial growth and even a gum abscess. Next time you go to the cinema, try a different snack that is less harmful to your gums.

Foods That Your Gums Will Love

After reading about all the foods you should avoid, here are the foods that are beneficial for your gums.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help to protect healthy tissue in your mouth.

Eating an apple can take some time, and that is a good thing for your mouth. It spurs a cleansing action that shakes up the plaque that sticks to gums and teeth.

A raw onion is a bacteria fighting food. Onions have an antimicrobial ingredient that kills bacteria, which can help to prevent gum disease.

Possible Issues And Side Effects Of Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a very safe procedure when performed correctly. However, there are some side effects that you should be aware of prior to your appointment.


The most common side effect of any whitening procedure is sensitivity. This problem affects up to 75% of whitening patients. The bleaching solution can remove minerals within the enamel making it more vulnerable to sensitivity.

Gingival Irritation

Gingival irritation occurs when the whitening gel has prolonged contact with the gingival tissue. This can be avoided by only filling the dosing dots on the tray and no more. This will help to avoid the excess use of gel and, therefore, gingival irritation. If you do apply too much of the whitening gel, use a clean tissue or soft toothbrush to remove it.

Disappointing Results

Tooth whitening is not an exact science, and in some instances teeth whitening does not result in perfectly white teeth. This could be due to the severity of the stains or even your genetics. Tooth whitening only helps to get teeth back to their original brightness and not any brighter, and some teeth are naturally less white than others.

Teeth Grinding

If you find that you grind your teeth during the night, overnight whitening may not be as effective as you would like. As you grind your teeth, the flexing of the trays will cause saliva to enter, washing away the whitening gel. If this is a problem that affects you, the best option would be to use the daytime whitening solutions. Discuss this with your dentist and they will advise you on the perfect plan for you.

If whitening is something that you are considering, click here for more information or call us on 01723 670500.