Some drugs that treat high blood pressure causes dry mouth (xerostomia). Another class of drugs called calcium channel blockers are used to control blood pressure. Gum overgrowth is a side effect of these drugs. It can begin as soon as one month after you start using them. Gums can become so large that chewing is made difficult. In some cases, surgery is needed to remove the excess gum tissue. However, gum overgrowth can be minimized with a proper, closely supervised oral hygiene regimen. This will decrease the oral bacterial level and its irritating inflammatory factors that allow the gum overgrowth to occur with these types of medication. Our office will also provide detailed oral hygiene instructions and hygiene aids. We also may ask you to visit more often for professional preventive dental visits depending on how the gum tissue responds to treatment. If your physician has recommended this type of medication for you, please call our office so we can help you prevent the side effect of gum overgrowth.
If you have high blood pressure we will check your blood pressure at each visit. Based upon the reading it will determine if treatment can proceed. Most individuals with hypertension can safely take anti-anxiety drugs, such as valium (diazepam) and safely receive local anesthetics, provided they don’t contain epinephrine.