4 Ways Medications Can Impact Dental Health

Most seniors take at least a few different medications for various health conditions. The medications that seniors take can have a big impact on their overall health. Seniors and their families may not realize that the medications that seniors take can have a direct impact on their teeth and their dental health. Not all medications will affect dental health, but if your senior loved one is on certain medications it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these side effects which can require dental treatment:

Bleeding Gums

Elder Care Wilmette, IL: Dental Health and Medications

Elder Care Wilmette, IL: Dental Health and Medications

Bleeding gums can be caused by many things, including using a toothbrush that is too hard or brushing too hard. But if your senior parent is taking anticoagulant medications these medications can make seniors more prone to bleeding gums. And seniors who are taking anticoagulants might have a harder time getting their bleeding gums under control because of the medications they take. If bleeding gums are a problem for your senior loved one, make an appointment with their dentist to find out how to manage the bleeding. 

Tooth Decay

Vitamins and medications that come in gummy forms are popular with seniors because they are easy to eat and easy to digest. But gummies also contain sugar. Taking gummies that contain sugar can cause tooth decay in seniors that still have natural teeth. If your senior parent has elder care it’s a good idea to ask the elder care provider to keep track of how many gummy medications and vitamins your senior loved one is taking. Talk to the doctor about alternative forms of the medications that may not have sugar in them to reduce the impact on your senior loved one’s teeth. If your senior loved one still has natural teeth it’s worth doing whatever can be done to preserve them. 

Discolored Teeth

Some medications can cause stained or discolored teeth. If your senior loved one’s teeth always look dirty even after they brush the culprit could be some of the medications that they take. Your senior loved one may want to consider professional dental tooth whitening to improve the look of their teeth. Don’t use home whitening products though, they may contain chemicals that can interact with the medications that your senior loved one is taking. Talking to a dentist about whitening to make sure there won’t be any interactions with the medications your senior loved one is already taking. 


Some medications that seniors take to lower their blood pressure and treat hypertension can cause gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can be painful and can cause bleeding gums and receding gums. One way to prevent gingivitis is for your senior loved one to get regular dental cleanings. Dental cleanings done by a hygienist will safely remove any plaque or tartar that is irritating the gums. And a professional cleaning and saltwater rinse can soothe the inflammation of the gums caused by the medication. If your senior loved one takes medication for hypertension, make  sure their dentist knows.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Wilmette, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.