Medications Causing Bleeding

Reduced blood clotting is a side effect of aspirins and anticoagulants, such as heparin or warfarin. These medications can be helpful in preventing stroke or heart disease but can cause bleeding problems during tooth extraction or treatment for periodontal diseases. Please advise us at Delmarva Dental Services of any drugs you may be taking, especially when scheduling treatment that could involve bleeding.

Medications Causing Gums to Grow

Overgrown or enlarged gum tissue is known as “gingival overgrowth.” It is sometimes associated with antiseizure medications such as phenytoin, immunosuppressant drugs such as those taken after organ transplantations and calcium channel blockers (including nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem and amlodipine) that are taken by some heart patients. Meticulous attention to cleaning teeth and gums is important for patients with this condition.

Medications Causing Mouth Ulcers

Some medications have been linked to the development of oral sores, inflammation or discoloration of the soft tissues in the mouth. These medications include those prescribed for blood pressure control, immunosuppressive agents, oral contraceptives, and some chemotherapeutic agents. If you take any of these and develop a soft-tissue reaction, Delmarva Dental Services can prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen to limit the discomfort caused by oral ulcers or inflammation.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth or xerostomia is an increasing problem for people in the U.S. Nearly one in four adults experience the condition, and 40 percent of those over the age of 55 suffer from dry mouth.  The primary cause of this condition are side effects of many medications especially medications for anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. In fact, three of the top ten most popular drugs cause dry mouth.   Other medications such as antihistamines, anti-Parkinsonism, anti-asthmatic and appetite suppressants cause dry mouth as well. Multiple medications can make the problem even worse.  Over-the counter medications such as decongestants (pseudoephedrine) and pain relievers (ibuprofen) can cause dry mouth. (For a list of medications causing dry mouth, see

Medical conditions that cause dry mouth are Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatment to the head and neck can cause dry mouth. (See Oral Effects of Cancer Treatment)

Symptoms of dry mouth include difficulty in eating; especially with dry foods, such as cereals or crackers; difficulty in swallowing and speaking; burning sensation in the mouth;  taste disturbances; dry, painful, rough tongue and lips;  persistent difficulty in wearing dentures;  feeling thirsty, especially at night; and bad breath.

Treatment involves drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day.  Use slow melting lozenges containing Xylitol such as Salese, OraMosit  & Xylimelts to moisten the mouth.  Simulate saliva flow with xylitol gums (See Xylitol Chewing Gum Can Prevent Cavities) such as Spry and Trident. Biotene makes a line of products specifically for dry mouth. (See Prescriptions for artificial saliva (Caphosol) can be written.The medications Salagen and Evoxa can also be prescribed to stimulate saliva flow.

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