Sometimes one medical professional can create extra work for another medical professional. If you have a medical condition that has caused your doctor to prescribe you thiazide diuretics, you might not think that your dentist will have to counteract the effects of this medication. But how can these types of medication impact your dental health?

Retention of Water

Thiazide diuretics are frequently prescribed for patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). This type of medication works by obstructing the sodium-chloride symporter in your body (which is a type of membrane protein that distributes key molecules throughout your body). Although thiazide diuretics can be highly-efficient in controlling your hypertension, this medication can lead to the retention of water in your urine. This can be problematic for your dental health, since your mouth still needs a certain level of hydration.

Dry Mouth

This lack of hydration in your mouth is known as xerostomia, which is generally known as dry mouth. While some genetic conditions can lead to dry mouth, it's also a regular side effect of certain types of medications, such as thiazide diuretics. A reduced level of saliva creates a favorable environment for harmful oral bacteria to thrive. You might not have thought of your saliva as important, but it plays a crucial role in protecting your teeth. So when you're on medication that has led to reduced saliva production, preventative dental care becomes even more important.

More Vulnerable

Preventative dental care services for dry mouth are largely concerned with identifying the need for early intervention. This essentially means that since your lack of saliva makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay, your dentist will want to see you regularly, allowing them to identify and treat problems before they have the chance to develop into something more serious. Because your medication has put you in a higher risk group in terms of cavities and periodontal disease, you must see your dentist regularly; at least twice yearly, or as recommended. 

Saliva Stimulation

Your dentist might also suggest measures to counteract the amount of water retained in your urine. You will often be encouraged to stay hydrated so that your saliva production is given some necessary assistance. Sugar free chewing gum and candies can also stimulate saliva production. Additionally, your teeth might need extra protection in the form of a fluoride rinse or supplement. 

Thiazide diuretics can be necessary, perhaps even lifesaving, but you can't overlook the effect this medication can have on your teeth. Maintain proper preventative dental care if you are on this medication.