Medications like lithium are often attributed with a multitude of side effects. Most of these side effects can be tolerated. Hand tremors, nausea, dry mouth and frequent urination are just some of the side effects that we have to deal with on a frequent basis. These are physical effects and we are able to identify when we are suffering with them.
This brings me to dental health. I didn’t know or was aware that lithium would have an effect on my dental health. That was until I come across an article from Colgate titled Lithium Dental Side Effects. In this article they talk about how a common side effect of dry mouth can have serious implications for our dental health. It goes on to state that “a lack of saliva prevents the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth from being properly lubricated”. Further mentioning that our saliva acts as a buffer for acidic foods and drinks and contains essential minerals to keep the enamel strong. Meaning that with our dry mouth we are more susceptible to decay, gingivitis and gum disease.
In closing, when do we get a break? We already suffer and put up with a great deal of side effects to now find out that our dental health is jeopardised by one of these effects. Will there ever be a medication that just works, with no side effects and is taken once, “fixing” us forever.
One can dream…