Sugar content, cariogenicity, & dental concerns with commonly used medications
It was a pleasure to host my friend Dr. Mark Donaldson to speak about a somewhat ‘less thought-about’ issue for dentists: sugar in commonly prescribed medications for dental patients. We don’t usually think about it much, but much of the medication prescribed today contains quite a bit of sugar, and dental practitioners need to take this fact into consideration when treating their patients, in particular those who are medically compromised.
If you have any questions, Dr. Donaldson would be happy to respond to those. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manger
Oral adverse events such as cariogenicity are often overlooked as drug-associated effects because the sugar content of many medications may be negligible compared with the patients’ overall dietary intake of sugar. There are, however, several liquid formulations of medications with significantly high sugar content that are commonly used in patients with swallowing difficulties.
These medications may be associated with negative oral health sequelae and should be considered part of the oral health care providers’ differential diagnosis of oral pathologies.
Over 50 commonly used oral liquid medications prescribed for patients with swallowing difficulties were reviewed and found to contain sugar in varying amounts up to 4 grams per dose (usually 1 teaspoon or 5 milliliters).
Patients who are required to take multiple doses per day of these sugar-containing oral liquid medications may be at increased risk for caries and associated oral health consequences.
Conclusions and Practical Implications
Recognition and avoidance of sugar-containing oral liquid medications can help clinicians optimize patient treatment, decreasing the risk for potential drug-induced caries while emphasizing patient safety and improved oral health.
Full Interview (11.30″)