Your natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but many factors complicate the issue. And while sugary foods and beverages are the most common and talked-about reasons, your medication can also play a big role in determining how your teeth look and feel. In this post, we’ll dig deeper into this issue and explain some of the most prominent ways popular medications affect teeth.

An image showing white pills spilling out of a purple bottle.

Tip: Always let your dentist know when you begin taking a new medication.

Anti-Arthritis Medication

The anti-arthritic medication dexamethasone may alleviate joint disease, but it is also known to worsen periodontal bone disease. The problem led to many research projects, including a recent study that developed a new ant-arthritic drug that was specifically engineered to reduce both inflammation and periodontitis.

Drugs that Cause Dry Mouth

Hundreds of medications cause dry mouth, including those for:

  • allergies or asthma
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • pain
  • anxiety or depression
  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases

Dry mouth is a problem because it reduces saliva flow and can leave you at increased risk for tooth decay. Luckily, there are many ways to combat dry mouth, including sipping more water, chewing sugarless gum, and using a humidifier at night. The American Dental Association has a useful website that has many more tips for countering dry mouth.


People with certain medical conditions need to be aware that they may need to take antibiotics before they undergo an oral surgery. The medical conditions in question deal with the patient’s immune system. For example, antibiotics might be useful for patients who also are undergoing chemotherapy, which increases the risk of orthopedic implant infection.

For More Information

Many other medicines have a profound affect on your oral care. For Jacksonville residents looking to schedule an appointment at our dental office, we highly recommend that you keep us updated on all of the medications you’re taking. And please feel free to contact us if you have a question about how a medication will affect your teeth and/or gums.