If you are considering dental implants to improve your smile, talk to your dentist about side effects related to the medications you currently take. While most medications will not interact with your dental implants procedure or recovery phase, certain drugs known as beta blockers may. Here are some ways beta blockers can affect your gums, which may slow your healing after your implant surgery:
Beta blockers are used in the management of high blood pressure, chest pain, cardiac arrhythmia, migraine headaches, and sometimes, anxiety. They are also used to help reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes, and one of the main mechanisms of these drugs is that they decrease platelet aggregation.
Decreased platelet aggregation causes your platelets to become less sticky, which is a good benefit if you are at high risk for a heart attack or blood clot. Conversely, decreased platelet aggregation can cause abnormal or prolonged bleeding during and after your dental implant surgery. While beta blockers can cause excessive bleeding, never stop taking them without checking with your physician. Doing so may raise your risk for a dangerous cardiovascular event.
Heightened Infection Risk
Beta blockers can cause your mouth to become extremely dry. If you have dry mouth for prolonged periods of time, bacteria and fungi can accumulate inside your oral cavity. This can raise your risk for gum infections. If you have a severe gum infection, the bones that support your teeth may weaken.
If you take beta blockers and develop oral dryness, drink plenty of water, because in addition to keeping you more comfortable, oral hydration will help reduce bacterial and fungal counts inside your mouth. If you develop a severe gum infection or bone deterioration as a result of your medications or otherwise, your implant dentist may need to remove your implant posts until your infection heals.
If the infection is resistant to treatment, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist or a maxillofacial specialist for further evaluation and treatment. It is important to note, that while beta blockers can cause problems with your gum tissue, other medications such as those used to treat osteoporosis, can cause necrosis of your jaw bone, which may make you ineligible for the implant procedure.
If you are contemplating implants to improve your appearance or bite, talk to your dentist about your medications and current health conditions. The more he or she knows about your medical status, the less likely you will be to develop complications during and after your procedure. For more information, reach out to dental clinics like Couchman Center for Complete Dentistry.