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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.

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