Over-the-counter and prescription drugs are used frequently, in large quantities and by many adults, particularly by those older than 65 years of age. A number of medications (prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins and minerals, herbal preparations) can affect oral health. With the population's aging, and as more drugs become available, dentists can expect to encounter medication-related oral side effects among their patients.
TYPES OF STUDIES REVIEWED:
The author reviewed studies that ranged from case reports to randomly controlled, double-blinded studies. However, in view of the subject matter, the majority of findings are based on case reports.
Since many patients regularly take medications, both prescribed and nonprescribed, dentists always must take a thorough medical history so that they can be aware of medication-related problems and the impact of medications on diagnosis and treatment planning.
Dentists must be aware of the potential oral tissue complications that medications can create and develop appropriate treatment plans for their patients that consider the oral health impact of the medications they take.