Drug Use During Dental Treatment

Depressed Young Man

Discuss All Drug and Medication Use to Avoid Harmful Reactions

Let’s face it, some people take anti-depressants, some are prescribed antibiotics. Some smoke marijuana, and fewer, thankfully, use cocaine, methamphetamine or other drugs. But here in the office, the message remains the same for all. Tell us what you’re taking, and when.

Why? Because the drugs we administer during dental procedures might have unforeseen interactions with the drugs you’re already taking, whether they be legal prescriptions or illicit “street” drugs. So let us know any time you change medications, take on a new prescription, or take up a recreational drug habit. No matter what your lifestyle choices, we’re here to help your oral health.

Furthermore, those who use cocaine or methamphetamine often experience some unhealthy consequences. If you “pre-medicate” yourself—use before coming to the dental office to cope with the stress—some of the anesthetics you may receive could contribute to a dangerous increase in heart rate and blood pressure. If you undergo oral surgery and use cocaine upon returning home, postoperative bleeding may be a problem.

More direct oral health consequences are:

  • Damage to the nasal septum from “snorting”
  • Infections of the mucous membrane
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) and decrease in saliva pH
  • Increase in cavities and periodontal (gum) disease
  • Apathy towards oral hygiene, diet, postoperative instructions and follow-up appointments

But just because you have xerostomia, periodontal disease, or a lot of cavities, we won’t assume you have a drug problem. These conditions have a variety of non-drug related causes too. We’re here to help you achieve and maintain good oral health, so if you have any questions or would like to discuss this subject further, please let us know.

About Brent T. Ingram, DDS

San Jose dentist Dr. Brent Ingram received his doctorate of general dentistry from The University of the Pacific School of Dentistry and his B.S. in Accounting at Pepperdine University. However, the study never stops when you’re a dentist. Since taking over the practice at Complete Dental Care over 10 years ago, Dr. Ingram has gained certification in Invisalign®, 6 Month Smiles® as well as the latest methods of Endodontics, Laser surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry. Born and raised in Los Altos, California. Dr. Ingram currently lives in Santa Clara, with his wife Amy, son Rafe and new daughter Rhys Lillian, (who has no teeth but she’s trying!). Besides family time, he also enjoys golfing, skiing, traveling, theatre and watching his favorite basketball team, The Golden State Warriors.

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