Avoiding Dietary Supplement, Drug Interactions

Avoiding daily doses of certain dietary supplements when you are also taking drugs for dental treatment might help prevent drug interactions, say the authors of an article in the July issue of The American Dental Association.

The authors, Dr. Mark Donaldson, director of pharmacy services, Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Montana, and Riva Touger-Decker, Ph.D., R.D., professor, Division of Nutrition, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, New Jersey, searched for articles and information about interactions between medications prescribed or given by dentists and the most commonly used dietary supplements in the United States. They found that taking ginkgo, St. John's wort, evening primrose or valerian if you are also taking drugs commonly prescribed or used in dentistry may cause interactions of clinical concern. These interactions can lead to adverse effects such as reducing the effectiveness of the drug, sensitivity to light and blood thinning.

Therefore, when you visit your dentist it is important to tell him or her about any dietary supplements, over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs you are taking. That way, your dentist can make decisions about which drugs to safely prescribe to you or give you during a dental procedure. Your dentist may also tell you to stop using dietary supplements for a certain period of time before using a medication for dental treatment.

"Recognition and avoidance of potential interactions between dietary supplements and medications prescribed or administered commonly will help oral health care providers optimize treatment while emphasizing patients' safety," concluded Drs. Donaldson and Touger-Decker.

For more information about discussing your medication use with your dentist, visit MouthHealthy.org.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.

Keep your teeth clean with an oral health routine.

Establishing an oral health routine is important for a healthy mouth. Try one of our oral health products to help you establish a schedule.