Are Your Child’s Medications Affecting Their Oral Health? | Pinellas Park Children’s Dentist

Understanding Medication Side Effects on Your Child’s Oral Health

At Kids 1st Pediatric Dentistry, we prioritize your child’s overall health and well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 5 children are currently taking prescription medications, and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used correctly, these medications can sometimes have side effects that impact oral health. It’s crucial to inform us if your child is taking any medications or supplements and if there have been any changes since your last visit.

Here are some common medication side effects that can affect your child’s oral health:

Abnormal Bleeding

Some medications can thin the blood and reduce its ability to clot. This can lead to excessive bleeding during dental treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. It’s important to inform us if your child is on any blood-thinning medications or supplements before scheduling any procedures that may involve bleeding.

Dry Mouth

Many medications can decrease saliva production. Saliva is essential for maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids and washing away food particles. Reduced saliva can lead to inflammation, infection, and tooth decay. If your child is experiencing dry mouth, let us know so we can recommend appropriate treatments.

Fungal Infections

Children who use oral inhalers for asthma or other respiratory conditions are at risk for oral candidiasis, a fungal infection. We recommend that patients rinse their mouths thoroughly with water after using an inhaler to reduce the risk of infection.

Gum Tissue Enlargement

Certain medications can cause overgrowth or enlargement of the gum tissue. This condition requires special care to keep the teeth and gums clean and prevent inflammation or decay. If you notice any changes in your child’s gum tissue, please inform us.

Soft Tissue Reactions

Some medications can cause inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of the soft tissues in the mouth. If your child experiences any of these reactions, we can prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen to alleviate their discomfort and prevent further issues.

Tooth Decay

While tooth decay is not a direct side effect of medications, many medicines, especially those in liquid, chewable, or lozenge forms, contain sugar to improve their taste. Prolonged exposure to sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay. When possible, choose sugar-free versions of medications, take them with meals, or rinse your child’s mouth with water after they take a sugared medicine.

What You Can Do

Communication is key to maintaining your child’s oral health. Always update us on any medications or supplements your child is taking. If your child is experiencing any side effects or if you have concerns about their medications, contact our office.

At Kids 1st Pediatric Dentistry, your trusted Pinellas Park Children’s Dentist, we are here to support you and ensure your child’s oral health is in the best possible condition. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We look forward to helping your child maintain a healthy and happy smile.

Kids 1st Pediatric Dentistry, Carolina Escobedo, DMD Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
Phone: (727) 238-7722
6026 Park Blvd
Pinellas Park, FL 33781