Oral Health Group

The drugs your older patients are taking.

June 25, 2015
by Kahaliah Richards

Partners In Prevention 1Green Shield Canada, our fourth largest administrator of dental claims, has just published the list of the most commonly prescribed medications for Canadians between ages 50 and 70.

These are listed below in terms of number of prescriptions. Note that 4 are for blood pressure and the most common drug is for mood disorders.

Combining medications for mood disorders and blood pressure puts older folks at serious risk of dental decay at the gum line. A study in Boston involving 646 adults between ages 40 and 80 found that those taking these 2 medications had significantly more aggressive root decay than those taking one or the other (Singh M, Papas A, Biesbrock 2006, Abstract 472 IADR).

Filling out the patient’s chart about any new medications since the last visit, provides information which is significantly predictive of future oral health. When a patient is taking anti-hypertensives and anti-depressants, the warning bells should go off. It is time for more preventive care.

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