Hanscom Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Medications and dentistry
Medications and dentistry

Posted 4/25/2012   Updated 4/25/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Kristin Hays
66th Medical Squadron, Dental Flight


4/25/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- It is very important to tell dental team members, to include the dentist, hygienist or assistant, about any medicines a patient is taking, whether it is prescription, over the counter or herbal supplements.

People often feel that medicines won't affect their teeth. That is not necessarily the case. For example, while a heart or blood pressure pill may not have a direct effect on the teeth themselves, keep in mind that the teeth are located in the mouth. The mouth is connected to the rest of the body by the bloodstream and all medications that one takes will circulate through all the tissues in the mouth. These medications can affect the oral tissues in a variety of ways.

One of the most common medication side effects is dry mouth, the result of a decreased flow of saliva. This increases the risk of tooth decay since saliva helps keep food from collecting around the teeth and neutralizes the acids produced by dental plaque. Those acids ultimately damage the hard surfaces of the teeth.

Anyone who experiences dry mouth due to a particular medicine they are taking and cannot change the medicine may consider looking for non-prescription saliva substitutes available at most drug stores.

In addition, the medication one takes may directly affect their dental treatment. The dentist may have to use a different type of local anesthetic, or may prescribe a different pain medication or antibiotic so as not to have an adverse drug interaction with any drugs.

In some cases, a patient may have to stop taking certain medications before a particular dental procedure. This will require the dentist and physician to work together. All of these situations are extremely important safety factors for patients.

Finally, over-the-counter supplements should also be included on a person's medication list. Although they may be marketed as organic, herbal supplements contain ingredients to extend their shelf life, to make them chemically stable in tablet form and to make the tablet palatable to swallow.

The bottom line is that herbal supplements are still chemicals. All chemicals will interact with other chemicals in the body whether they are organic or synthesized in a laboratory. Furthermore, many herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which may make it difficult to determine their exact composition.

It is recommended that patients bring in the container for any supplements they are taking to any medical and dental appointments so the supplements can be recorded.

Informing the dental health care team about any and all medicines the patient is taking will ensure they receive safe and effective dental treatment. Anyone with questions may contact the dental clinic at 781-225-6324.



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Hanscom AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabMission NewsRSS feed 
BACN hits 100,000 hours of ensuring connectivity for warfighters

New contract vehicle opens doors for Battle Management programs

New Horizons slated for March 1 and 2

Hanscom AWACS team reaps reward

Recapitalizing JSTARS: the radar

tabHanscom NewsRSS feed 
ABG announces annual award winners

Hanscom firefighters deliver baby

Hanscom Fire Department named best in AFMC

OPM offers limited enrollment period for new self-plus-one option

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

February Team Hanscom promotions

BHS senior captures youth of the year honors

BSC week pays homage to MDS corps

Safety key to winter fun

MDS earns The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval

tabNews Briefs and HappeningsRSS feed 
Upcoming events

News in Brief

School Notes  1

tabCommentaryRSS feed 
Aftermath of a DUI: Who's really affected?

Airman shares family tragedy as "wake up call"

Holiday greetings from the base commander

tabPhoto FeatureRSS feed 
Photo feature: This week at Hanscom, Feb. 5

Photo feature: This week at Hanscom, Jan. 29

tabFeaturesRSS feed 
Laying the foundation for future AF, Coast Guard enlisted leaders

Command chief focused on mission, careers of Airmen

From Army Air Corps to U.S. Air Force, 71-years and counting


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act