The medications you take are designed to improve your health, but sometimes there’s a price to be paid in terms of side effects. More specifically, certain medications can leave your teeth discolored.
In this month’s blog post, Dr. Mohammed Mansour and the expert oral health team here at Plan Dental Distinction take a closer look at the medications that can stain your teeth and what we can do to restore your pearly whites.
The biggest offenders when it comes to staining teeth are the antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline, especially when taken as a child. When you were a child, your teeth were in the development phase. If you had to take tetracycline or doxycycline, these antibiotics attached themselves to the calcium that was forming your teeth, leaving your enamel stained yellow, brown, or gray.
Of the two, tetracycline binds more readily to calcium — nearly 40% versus 19% for doxycycline.
Today, doctors understand this more and steer clear of prescribing these antibiotics in young children and in pregnant women. For those who took the medications when they were younger, however, the damage is done.
Too much of a good thing
While fluoride is essential for strong enamel, you can develop stains on your teeth if you’re exposed to too much. This condition is known as fluorosis and typically occurs in kids younger than eight who take in too much fluoride through a combination of toothpaste, fluoride treatments, drinking water, or supplements.
Medications that cause dry mouth
There are a number of different medications that can lead to dry mouth, which means you don’t have enough saliva. Without saliva, your teeth aren’t able to fight off bacteria as well, which can lead to tooth decay and teeth staining.
The list of medications that reference dry mouth as a possible side effect is long, but here are a few examples:
- Certain heart health medications, such as diuretics and calcium channel blockers
- Seizure medications
- Anti-nausea medications
If you’re taking medications that can lead to dry mouth, it’s important that you play close attention to your dental health so you can avoid tooth decay and staining.
Getting back to white
If your teeth have been discolored by medications, the good news is that we can help. In most cases, a round of professional teeth whitening using our medical-grade products does the trick. If the staining is tough and buried deep inside your teeth, we may need to turn to cosmetic dentistry, such as dental veneers, to cover up the stains.
While we want you to take care of your health and take whatever medications your doctor prescribes, rest assured that we have solutions if your teeth become discolored in the process.
To learn more about the medications that can potentially discolor your teeth and how we can restore whiteness, please contact our office in Plano, Texas, to schedule an appointment.