How Medications Affect Gum Health

Modern Family Dental Care

Gum health is usually not the first thing we think of when we take a pill. However, medications pose some effects that silently wreak havoc on our oral health. Most patients only realize the impact that taking their medications can have on their teeth and gums when dealing with the consequences.  

In this post, we will share the link between medications and gum health. We will also highlight the importance of discussing your medications with your dentist. As a trusted dentist in Charlotte and Concord Mills, Modern Family Dental Care aims to encourage you to be mindful of the effects of medications and work with us to protect your mouth against them.

What causes the gums to swell?

There are a lot of possible causes for gums to swell. Trauma or injury and irritation from brushing or flossing are a few of them. However, the usual pattern that we notice at Modern Family Dental Care is that gum swelling is due to the following causes:

Immune response to bacteria

Contrary to common belief, gum swelling or inflammation is a good indication that you have an active immune response. However, it also means that your gums are under attack and need to be addressed immediately. It usually happens when plaque or tartar that is filled with bacteria sits next to gums for too long. 

Gum inflammation is also an indication of gingivitis or the first stage of gum disease. If left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis which creates periodontal pockets causing other signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums and tooth loss.

Effects of medications

Another unknown cause of gum inflammation and overgrowth is medications for some medical conditions. These include:

  • High blood pressure maintenance medications
    • Nifedipine
    • Verapamil
    • Diltiazem
    • Amlodipine
  • Transplant preparation
    • Cyclosporine 
  • Seizures
    • Phenytoin

How gum conditions compromise immune health 

Our body is designed to pour all its defenses into the infected or inflamed area, leaving other parts of the body vulnerable to other diseases. Simply put, our immune system gets weaker the longer inflammation occurs in our body.  

Gums are made of soft tissues and bones that support our teeth. When they are inflamed, the defenses of our immune system become weaker, creating a convenient environment for the bacteria to infiltrate our bloodstream and spread infection. 

If gum inflammation is left untreated, it can lead to gum disease. The worst thing about gum disease is it is a condition that puts your gums in a constant state of inflammation. It also has its fair share of complications such as heart disease and other inflammatory health problems. 

What to do if your gums are swelling or bleeding

Swelling and bleeding gums are warning signs that you should not neglect. Maintain good oral hygiene, brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss before bed. Here are other considerations to prevent the progression of your condition:

Let us help you take care of your gums for a strong immune system 

Oral health is directly linked to our overall well-being. If you are taking some maintenance medications, don’t forget to have your regular dental consultations along with your doctor appointments. Check out Dr. Taj as he discusses the link between gum health and medications below:

Schedule an appointment today with our dental team and maintain healthy gums while taking your medications.  

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