Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Medications contributing to Cavities

Posted by SLS on November 24, 2000, at 21:21:31

In reply to Medications contributing to Cavities, posted by Janice1 on November 24, 2000, at 16:54:28

> I was at the dentist this week, and I had 6 cavities! My last visit was 12 months ago, and usually I have 1, no more than 2 cavities a year. So my dentist asked me if I was on any new medications in the past 12 months (Wellbutrin and Topamax)that could dry out my mouth. I did notice my mouth was dry in the morning but I can usually overlook such small side effects. She said that a dry mouth creates an atmosphere that is great for bacteria to thrive in. Her husband happened to be a psychiatrist, so she called him to find out which medication it was that would be drying out my mouth - it is the Topamax.
> Anyway, there are things you can do to prevent more cavaties. Brushing right before you go to bed. Using some kind of non-alcoholic rinse. Just thought I'd let you know
> I have always said there are 2 things North Americans will never forget? body order and bad teeth.
> anyone else notice all dentists seem to lecture?
> Janice

Hi Janice.

I am not a dentist, but I do have a tendency to lecture. Sorry.

Saliva functions to reduce tooth decay in three ways. Firstly, it provides a mechanical means by which food particles and sugars are dissolved and flushed away. Secondly, saliva contains an enzyme that lyses and kills much of the bacteria (although it also contains another enzyme that makes it easier for some bacteria to adhere to the tooth surface). Thirdly, saliva affects the pH of the mouth by reducing its acidity. It is the acids excreted by the bacteria and yeasts along the surface of the tooth that dissolves the enamel of the tooth. Maintaining a higher pH with saliva, in effect, slows down the decay process. It neutralizes the acid. When taking drugs that produce dry mouth (xerostomia), it sometimes helps to chew gum or candies, as they will induce the production of saliva. I guess sugar-free products make the most sense to use.

End of lecture.

- Scott




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