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Dental Side Effects (dry mouth, gum sensitivity)

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ok, i know that stimulants cause dry mouth.

i know that anticonvulsants can cause poofy gums that bleed when you look at them funny.

i went from the girl with a cavity every few years to 5 new ones this year (including one needing a cap) and and now i am on rx toothpaste and have to get cleanings every three months.

i understand that the meds are fucking up my teeth. but why?

what do anticonvulsants do to your gums?

why do stimulants dry up your saliva?

i can't find any info out there beyond "meds are bad for your teeth, make sure you brush!"

i like my teeth. enough that i've been flossing.

i don't want to end up with caps on every tooth and root canals and loosing teeth.

this is the first time i've really questioned if medication is worth it. braces were a fucking pain in the ass and i want to keep these teeth, dammit!

i started crying at the dentist today when she told me how bad it was and that it was my meds and blah blah vigilance etc.

but she didn't know why. (she also didn't know why the novicane got me high.... and i checked a med interaction thing and it didn't say anything. but whoo eee i was fucking out of it. still kina am.)

if anyone knows ANYTHING about teeth and crazymeds, i would really love it if you'd tell me.

many thanks,


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Get this:

https://secure.biotene.com/ordertravelpak.asp ( or the individual componets seperately)

What your dentist has you using may be pretty much the same.

And use this once a day:

http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/OC/P...entalRinse.cvsp (or a stronger rx flouride rinse)

Stims are a diretic in general. It's all your tissues and not just your mouth and gums. That's why it's important to stay hydrated in general.

Basically, you've got meth mouth.

If there is any jaw clenching or teeth grinding as a side effect, get a bite block.

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I've been over a lot of the same ground. Fortunately I truly have had minor problems in comparison.

Regarding the stimulants, Sudafed, pseudoephedrine, is the ultimate example of a stimulant that causes drying of mucosal tissues. Very specifically the nose and sinuses, though the mouth to a lesser degree.

So, I conclude that it is just a characteristic of the class of drugs to cause drying of mucosal tissues. The pharmacology of action can be looked up elsewhere.

The reason that dry mouth is a problem is that the constant flow of saliva is reduced and no longer flushes away the bad bacteria, Streptococcus Mutans. The bacteria then multiplies and creates cavities at an accelerated pace. If someone with dry mouth uses sugared drinks instead of water, that literally just feeds the fire. S. Mutans loves sugar.

Lamictal: I chalk up the Lamictal gum problems to the fact that Lamictal exacerbates so many other skin conditions, and that gums/mucosa are a special form of skin. So the gums are more easily irritated and inflamed by the bacteria mentioned above and food particles.

After starting Lamictal my gums have become quite sensitive. After a year I ended up having treatments for gum disease (brain can't remember name), and my first cavity in nearly 25 years. Also I've had jaw clenching continuously since starting Lamictal. I'm on 4 month recall and seeing the dentist next week with fingers crossed.

That's my cut on things, a.m.

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i am getting a nightguard. my dentist had to do the 4 fillings on the top first because fillings change the shape of your teeth. she says the ones from the drug store that you put in hot water and self-mold can make TMJ worse. i would have gotten the mold taken today, only it turned out that one cavity (that grew under an old filling which freaks me out, apparently the bacteria like snuck under it) was much much worse than she had thought and since so little tooth was left i need a cap. so i have to go back in a few weeks and get a cap (ooo gold. it's in the back and apparently gold wears the same as teeth so it lasts the longest) and after i get the cap she'll take the mold.

i've ground my jaw ever since i was on celexa like 5 years ago. i had a nightguard before but i stepped on it. (this was before my ADD dx, so i was REALLY disorganized.)

my rx toothpaste is higher flouride than that mouth wash. it's the highest level that can be rx'd, apparently. she says it's not so much for my teeth as for my roots.

i have the biotene mouthwash and toothpaste. i have xylitol gum and mints. i don't have that moisturizing gel, i'll check that out tomorrow.

my gums are in better shape since i started using the biotene and a sonicare toothbrush (my dentist said if i didn't get a sonicare she'd stop seeing me. she was kidding, but i got one anyway).

i even floss now. but she said i have to every every day, not just a few times a week. those glide floss picks really help.

but blah.

i don't know what i'd do w/o stims.

i like my teeth, dammit!

i'm just wondering if flossing, cleanings every 3 months, biotene, rx flouride... if it will actually do anything, or if i'm just doomed to have shitty teeth now.

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Well, for normal people not taking meds, if they exercise reasonable dental care, the bigges factor determining how much dental problems they have is genetics.

If you are born with soft enamel, or thin enamel, or uneven enamel, you are going to have a lot more cavities and tooth loss than people with thick even enamel and perfect tooth placement.

I would think it's worth the effort to keep them up as best you can. The alternative is wearing dentures top and bottom. No candy apples or steaks.


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i have good enamel. i have "good teeth" according to my dentist. other than braces and wisdom teeth, the only dental work i've needed until now were regular cleanings and the filling of 4 small cavities.


this is bothering me too much.

thanks for the help.

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Hey, I can understand why that would bother you.

I'm on one antidepressant, have been for over 5 years, and ever since then I've been getting cavaties.

Could be totally coincidental.

But I had NEVER had a cavity before medication.

And I went home and cried after the dentist told me I had 3 cavities.

I guess I had always taken pride in teeth being something I was "perfect" at. Or something.

But yeah, I was devastated for a few days...

So I feel ya sista.

Hang in there.

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I have developed icky gum problems and gingivitis since starting Lamictal. Antibacterial mouthwash seems to be clearing it up. I'm also forcing myself to floss. I've always had great teeth but never been much of a flosser before.

Try the mouthwash twice a day.

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FWIW, Listerine and any mouthwash that has alcohol in it will dry your mouth out even more. That's why you want to use the biotine that's alcohol free and has aloe in it and replenishes the amino acids found it saliva. They are what keep that stuff from growing normally.

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Thanks VE. I didn't know that. Can I get the biotine rinse in a drugstore or do I need a script for that?

Dee, it is available without prescription. go to where the mouthwash is. It's expensive, so is the toothpaste (compared to the regular stuff) and has a little less of a minty punch.

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FWIW, rotate the sonicare out with a regular toothbrush every now and then. It gives you a lot less control in the nooks and crannies so it's easier miss spots.

even if i floss every day?

(i'm in full-blown dental hygeine paranoia right now)

i've gotten so used to the ease of the sonicare i'm afraid i've forgotten how to brush like normal. which is silly. i'm going to get the gel stuff today and give it a whirl so i'll pick up a toothbrush while i'm at it.

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I gave you 5 stars for bringing this up. I'm sure many of us have this problem with ACs.


you know, this REALLY should be something our doctors tell us.

they should give us our rx for stims or ACs along with a lecture on dental care, some biotene and some rx flouride.

if i had known i needed the biotene and cleanings every 3 months earlier, maybe i could have avoided some of this? i hope so, as i'm hoping to avoid it in the future.

i know others have the fucked teeth side effect much worse than i do. it's bullshit all around that we have to deal with this. but it's extra double bullshit that patients aren't told off the bat that they need to be careful.

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