An NBC12.com article details Keith Johnson’s plea for dental help:
Keith swallows 17 pills daily. A defibrillator in his chest, and medication for congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation keep him alive. The medicines are a blessing and a curse.
“He has spoken to a dentist, whose opinion is that one of these medicines is causing a lot of decay,” said Dr. Lei Charlton, internal medicine.
“He’s got a lot of decay in the mouth,” said Charlton. “We’re unfortunately at risk for him having more heart problems on top of what he already has experienced.”
“I need someone who does surgery that can extract the teeth and not cause me to bleed to death, and then I need to be set up for dentures,” said Johnson.
He’s a high-risk patient for a dentist, on a blood thinner and heart medicines and has no money.
Aside from Johnson’s infected, jagged teeth, drugs that cause tooth decay are not anything new. Over the years, dentists have expressed concern regarding the drying effect of common drugs to the mouth, including chemotherapy drugs and antihistamines. Moreover, multiple studies have shown that clonidine and certain medications can effectively shut off saliva production and deprive the oral cavity of its protective fluid. As a result, bacteria and the food that people eat build up against the tooth enamel.
More than causing an unhealthy oral environment, some drugs have been known to directly affect the teeth and gums, as well. Acidic drugs such as aspirin and asthma medication as well as medicated syrups that contain sugar can break down the structural integrity of the tooth enamel. Antihypertensives, oral contraceptives, and immunosuppressive drugs, on the other hand, can increase the risk of gum problems.
Treatment, in this case, requires coordination between the dentist and doctor. A reputable dentist in Puyallup, WA may suggest talking to your doctor about changing the method of intake or changing the medication entirely. If this isn’t possible, a dentist may prescribe at-home treatment to help protect the teeth. If Johnson sought the advice of a dental professional on how to address the symptoms before they developed, he would not have had to deal with the complications of his condition compromising his need for oral surgery.
In case the teeth have already been severely decayed, a trusted dentist in Puyallup can perform restorative work to re-establish oral health. These include crowns, bridges, dental implants, or even surgical procedures.
(Article Excerpt and Image from 12 ON YOUR SIDE: Viewer desperate for dental assistance, NBC 12, Published October 30, 2013)