A Surprising Dental Problem Linked to Some Medications
We are incredibly fortunate to live in a time when some of our most painful and debilitating medical conditions can be well-controlled with prescription medications, allowing us to enjoy a more pleasurable quality of life. While these medications are certainly helpful, it’s no secret that they also include the risk for potential side effects and some of these can impact your oral health. But it isn’t always dry mouth that will cause the problem—sometimes you’ll need help from a Southern Pines dentist because your medication has triggered a TMJ problem.
Jaw pain is a common complication that many people experience as the result of taking certain prescription medications for the treatment of other health conditions. Technically known as TMJ disorder, clenching and gritting the teeth can sometimes be triggered by the medications that are used to treat:
A number of medications that are used to treat these conditions can also trigger jaw problems, including:
- Prozac (fluoxetine),
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Wellbutrin (Bupropion),
- Paxil (paroxetine)
These medications have been shown to lead to the unconscious habit of clenching or grinding the teeth, especially at night. Unfortunately, this destructive behavior causes headaches, tooth sensitivity, broken enamel, damaged dental work, earaches, and tongue-biting.
You need your medication but you also need your teeth, and there is a way to protect your health and your smile at the same time. First, speak to your physician about the side-effects that you are experiencing and ask if there are any treatment alternatives. NEVER, EVER STOP TAKING A PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR. Next, talk to the dentist to find out if a night guard or occlusal guard can provide the necessary protection as long as you are taking the medication. A professionally-fitted bite appliance can provide significant relief from most TMJ pain.
To find out more about the effect of your prescription medications on your jaw joint, contact a Southern Pines dentist for a consultation today.