Dietary Supplements and Dental Care

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014, 5:53 pm

American’s love dietary supplements and we spend about $30 billion a year on them. Do dietary supplements affect your dental care?

Dentists always ask about drugs that patients are taking. We do this because certain medications can affect bleeding during a procedure or healing after. Most patients are very conscientious about listing all the medications prescribed by their doctor, but they don’t always remember to list the ones that they buy at the vitamin store or over-the-counter. Many of these dietary supplements can have similar effects on the body and dentists need to know if they regularly taken.

For example, patients who experience anxiety about dental visits and regularly take St. John’s wort or valerian may be limited in their choice of sedatives used before the dental visit. “Significant interactions exist between St. John’s wort or valerian and the most commonly used benzodiazepines,” said the authors of a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Antibiotics are used to fight oral infections and the study found that amoxicillin, cephalexin, metronidazole and penicillin were the best choices for patients taking dietary supplements. They noted that calcium supplements could prevent doxycycline and tetracycline from being absorbed properly.

A survey completed by the National Institutes of Health found that 67% of those 50 and older had not discussed alternative medicines and supplements with their healthcare provider. Because patients older than 65 are seven times more likely to experience adverse reactions to drug interactions it is important that all healthcare providers be provided an up-to-date list of medications and supplements.

The study noted that there were four dietary supplements that had the greatest potential for adverse drug interactions. These are St. John’s wort, ginkgo, evening primrose and valerian.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit and remember to update your medication list in our files.

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Category: oral health, sedation dentistry


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