Are Your Diuretics Damaging Your Teeth?
If you take diuretic tablets to manage water retention caused by a medical condition, then you may experience some side effects. While your doctor ran through the common problems you might have when you started taking your tablets, they may not have talked to you about how your medication might affect your teeth.
If you've had more problems with your teeth since you started taking your tablets, then there may be a connection. How do diuretics affect tooth health, and what can you do about it?
How Diuretics Affect the Teeth
Your diuretic medication doesn't have a direct effect on your teeth; however, its side effects can affect your mouth. For example, some people who take diuretics lose so much water from their system that they end up with a drier mouth than normal.
To stay healthy, your mouth needs to be constantly wet. A moist oral environment helps to keep your teeth and gums clean and bacteria-free. If your mouth is too dry to do this, then bacteria builds up more quickly and stays in your mouth.
This can affect your dental hygiene and health. For example, your breath may smell pretty bad most of the time. Your teeth may decay more easily, and your enamel may weaken. You may start to see problems on your gums and may get oral thrush infections.
How to Deal With a Drier Mouth
You shouldn't stop taking your medication just because you have dry mouth. Getting rid of the excess water in your system is medically more important than any dental problems you may have.
Make sure your dentist knows that you are taking diuretics. Tell them what kind of tablets you take and at what dose. Your dentist will usually be able to help you manage dryness in the mouth. This should make things more comfortable for you and give your teeth and gums some added protection.
A lot of this is down to making your mouth artificially moist again. If you can re-balance moisture, your teeth and gums are less likely to suffer. So, for example, your dentist may tell you to use saliva replacement medications, specialist mouthwashes or dental chewing gums. These products moisten a dry mouth. Your dentist can also give you tips on how to use food and drink to make your mouth wetter.
Your dentist may also recommend that you mention your dry mouth to your GP. Sometimes, switching to a different diuretic or changing the dose helps manage this problem.
For more information, contact a clinic that provides general dentistry services.