Poor oral health has been associated with heart disease, high blood pressure and more recently erectile dysfunction.
A study earlier this year from Jinan University in China found that men with gum disease who did not brush their teeth twice a day were twice as likely to struggle to get an erection. (It is thought that bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums can move through the body and damage the blood vessels elsewhere, such as the penis).
But problems with your teeth or gums can also be related to something else – your medication.
Did you know? Poor oral health has been associated with heart disease, high blood pressure and more recently erectile dysfunction
& # 39; People know very little about this & # 39 ;, says Shirin Alwash, clinical pharmacist and spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. & # 39; For example, if you say that aspirin can damage their teeth, they say: & # 39; I've never heard that. & # 39; & # 39;
Here we look at some of the daily medications that are likely to cause oral problems and propose solutions.
THE PAIN RUN THAT YOU EROST EMAAL
Old tooth analysis has revealed that Neanderthals have chewed a plant containing salicylic acid – the active ingredient of aspirin – to tackle toothache, according to a report in the journal Nature in 2017.
It was a smart move, because aspirin is a painkiller and anti-inflammatory. However, it has a downside for the health of the teeth.
Studies dating back many years have shown that chewing or sucking acetylsalicylic acid to give aspirin its full chemical name can affect the enamel, the tough, outer surface of the tooth.
& # 39; Because aspirin is acidic and keeps it in your mouth before you chew or swallow it, it looks a bit like sucking a lemon & # 39 ;, says Shirin Alwash.
It can also damage the gums, thus limiting their ability to recover, as well as other forms of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.
"Ibuprofen makes the protective mucuosal lining of the mouth more sensitive to the harmful effects of acid," Alwash says. So if you have a mouth ulcer, taking these pills to relieve pain and keep it in your mouth before you swallow can actually slow the healing process.
Tip: swallow aspirin whole with water. If you have a mouth ulcer, avoid NSAIDs and products containing them, and take paracetamol instead
A study on rats in 2000, published in the journal International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life, found that while an ulcer healed normally in ten days, those who took aspirin only healed 54 percent within that time
And that's not all. Aspirin is also used as a blood thinner to prevent clots in people at risk of stroke or heart attacks. But this can mean that a small trauma – for example, caused by vigorous brushing or flossing – can lead to bleeding gums, whether you chew, sift or swallow the tablet whole.
The solution: swallow aspirin whole with water. If you have a mouth ulcer, avoid NSAIDs and products containing them, and take paracetamol instead.
Those who use a small dose of aspirin daily for heart health should carefully use a soft toothbrush and floss to prevent bleeding gums.
HAY FEVER TABLETS LEAD BAD BREATH
The list of drugs that can cause dry mouth runs to hundreds, and includes proton pump inhibitors used to help with acid reflux, diuretics, and beta blockers for high blood pressure, not to mention the most common hay fever medications that contain antihistamines.
It's the older, & # 39; sleepy & # 39; antihistamines, such as chlorophenamine (found for example in some forms of Piriton), which cause dry mouth, since it affects the histamine receptors in the salivary glands and thereby the saliva production.
& # 39; Decongestants dry all secretions in the mouth – not just in the nose & # 39 ;, Shirin Alwash says. Anti-depressants can also cause dry mouth, especially tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline.
These drugs reduce saliva flow by 58 percent, according to an animal study published in the Australian Prescriber journal in 2016. A study in the same year, published in the journal Dentistry, Oral Disorders And Therapy, speculated that amitriptyline, in particular, caused & # 39; degenerative changes & # 39; in the salivary glands.
Fact: the list of drugs that can cause dry mouth runs to hundreds, and includes proton pump inhibitors used to help with acid reflux, diuretics and beta blockers for high blood pressure, not to mention the most common hay fever medicines containing antihistamines
& # 39; It's a shame, because a dry mouth can have a lot of knock-on effects & # 39 ;, says Janice Ellis, professor of dentistry at Newcastle University. And not just bad breath. & # 39; Saliva also protects the teeth against deterioration and gum disease & # 39 ;, she adds.
Werkt It works as a lubricant and removes dirt, as well as a chemical buffer that neutralizes acids that cause tooth decay. Saliva also contains antibodies that reduce the bacterial load around the teeth. & # 39;
The solution: & # 39; Sometimes people think they have no problem until they reach a certain dose of a drug, so it may be worth discussing a lower dose with your doctor if problems occur , & # 39; says professor Ellis.
Those with a dry mouth should brush their teeth with even more diligence than normal, and not rinse after brushing to maintain the protective effects of the toothpaste (standard advice for all of us, but especially important if you have a dry mouth).
For short-term relief, chewing gum or sucking sugar-free lozenges can help because sucking and chewing stimulates saliva production.
& # 39; The other option is artificial saliva sprays that can be prescribed & quot ;, says professor Ellis.
THE PILL CAN STOP MOUTH OF HEALING
Women in any form of the pill have significantly increased & # 39; risk of dry sockets after they have removed a tooth, whereby the blood clot that normally forms after extraction does not happen or breaks down too quickly.
This leaves the nerves and bone exposed, resulting in unbearable pain and an increased risk of developing an infection.
Taking the pill doubles the risk of dry contact points, according to a study reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association in 2016,
& # 39; Estrogen in the pill slows down the healing process because it affects the normal inflammatory response & # 39 ;, Shirin Alwash explains. It is thought to do this by reducing the coagulation capacity of the blood.
The solution: inform your dentist prior to an extraction that you are taking the pill. It may be possible to have the procedure at the same time in your cycle when estrogen levels are lowest – around days 23 – 28 – and thereby reduce the risk.
BLOOD PRESSURE PILLS AND & # 39; LARGE & # 39; GUMS
An accumulation of gum tissue – that looks like it grows over the tooth – is a relatively common side effect of drugs, including calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure; phenytoin to prevent seizures, and cyclopsorin, an immunosuppressant used after organ transplants.
& # 39; It looks like an overgrowth of gum tissue, but in fact the collagen that forms most of the gums, which is constantly being renewed, is not broken down as normal & # 39 ;, says Shirin Alwash.
Little known fact: an accumulation of gum tissue – that looks like it is growing over the tooth – is a relatively common side effect of medicines
& # 39; Approximately 20 to 30 percent of people using calcium channel blockers – especially amlodipine and nifedipine – are affected. & # 39; It's up to genetics and it will normally be clear within three months of taking these drugs.
Calcium antagonists put calcium in the cells of blood vessel walls, relax the muscles there, reducing blood pressure. However, they also block the enzyme collagenase that breaks down the collagen around the gums.
The solution: have regular dental checks – every three to six months – because the extra tissue can form pockets, allowing bacteria to collect around the tooth.
ASTMA INHALERS CONNECTED WITH PUSH
Up to 3 percent of those using a daily preventive inhaler – a steroid-based medicine that helps calm the airways and prevent asthma attacks – develop a thrush.
Caused by a fungus, this leads to white deposits and pain in and around the mouth. Although harmless, it can be uncomfortable. Anti-fungal tablets, liquid or gels usually make it clear within seven to fourteen days.
& # 39; The steroid in the inhaler is powder and if you breathe in, some will stay in your mouth and throat & # 39 ;, Shirin Alwash says.
& # 39; The steroid will then kill some of the good bacteria in the mouth – and this changes the balance of the bacteria present and allows other competing organisms, such as the Candida fungus (which causes thrush) to build up, especially in & # 39 ; n nice, humid environment, & # 39; she adds.
The solution: Rinse your mouth with water after every dose of inhaler for preventive purposes to get rid of any residual steroids.
If you get recurrent thrush, ask a pharmacist or asthma nurse to check if you have the right inhaler technique. You must inhale deeply and steadily – inhale too quickly and most of the powdered medicine sticks to the back of the throat instead of entering the lungs.
PS: SHAME MUM FOR YOUR YELLOW TEETH
The antibiotic tetracycline is no longer given to pregnant women or children under 12 because of the effects on the teeth.
When teeth are calcified (hardened) – in the womb and early childhood – the drug binds to the calcium in the teeth, giving them a yellow or gray shade.
Post-columnist and TV presenter Susannah Constantine says she was left with stained teeth as a result of her mother taking the antibiotic in the 1960s when she was pregnant.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS)
There are a number of possible causes of halitosis:
Poor oral hygiene
This is the most common cause. Bacteria that accumulate on your teeth – especially between them – as well as your tongue and gums, can produce unpleasant smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.
Food and drink
Eating highly flavored foods, such as garlic, onions, and herbs, is likely to stink your breath. Strongly scented drinks, such as coffee and alcohol, can also cause bad breath.
Bad breath caused by eating and drinking is usually temporary. Good oral hygiene also helps.
In addition to allowing your breath to breathe, your teeth will smoke your teeth, irritate your gums and reduce your sense of taste.
It can also significantly affect the development of gum disease, another major cause of bad breath.
The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene, but other reasons are eating and drinking, smoking and certain medicines and medical conditions (stock image)
Crash diet, fasting and low carbohydrate diets are another possible cause of bad breath. They cause the body to break down fat, producing chemicals called ketones that can be caught on your breath.
These include: nitrates – these are sometimes used to treat angina; some chemotherapy medication; and tranquillizers (phenothiazines).
If the medicine you are using causes bad breath, your doctor may recommend an alternative.
In rare cases, bad breath may be caused by certain medical conditions. In dry mouth (xerostomy) the flow and composition of saliva can be influenced.
A dry mouth can sometimes be caused by a problem in the salivary glands or by breathing through your mouth instead of your nose.
In some cases, gastrointestinal disorders can also cause bad breath. For example, a bacterial infection of the stomach wall and small intestine (H. pylori infection) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) have been associated with bad breath.
Other medical conditions that can cause bad breath are diabetes and lung, throat, or nose infections – for example, bronchiectasia, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and sinusitis.
Some people are convinced that if they don't, they will have bad breath. This mental disorder is called halitophobia.
Source: NHS Choices
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