Expert Dentists’ Tips for Preventing Dental Damage for Suboxone Users

Dental Damage for Suboxone Users

The Suboxone lawsuit, filed in 2022, centers on allegations that the medication has the potential to cause dental problems. Especially its sublingual form, which is intended to dissolve under the tongue, is the primary source of concern. Allegations suggest that its use may cause various dental problems, including tooth decay, cavities, and, in severe cases, tooth loss. 

Reports indicate plaintiffs have sued the Suboxone manufacturer. They claim the company didn’t warn healthcare providers and patients about the risks linked with the medication’s use.

In response to these allegations, as noted by TorHoerman law,  some pharmaceutical companies have changed their warning labels. However, for many patients, this action was too late. 

The Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit highlights an important issue at the intersection of public health and legal accountability. It stresses the necessity for thorough patient education. Safety warnings must be strict, especially for treating conditions like opioid dependency.

While the litigation continues, let’s discuss tips that expert dentists suggest to protect your teeth from decay while taking Suboxone.

Suboxone and Dental Decay

Suboxone is a medicine prescribed to treat opioid addiction. It has two ingredients for exceptional efficacy. Buprenorphine is the primary component and Naloxone is the secondary ingredient.

Suboxone, as part of a holistic treatment approach, aids in the management of withdrawal and cravings. It allows for a greater focus on recovery efforts such as therapy and support groups. Suboxone’s efficacy in aiding opioid addiction recovery is maximized when taken under supervision as part of a treatment plan.

How Does Suboxone Cause Tooth Decay?

Suboxone has a side effect of making your mouth dry. This occurs because one of its ingredients, buprenorphine, affects the part of your nervous system that regulates saliva production. When you have less saliva, your mouth cannot clean itself, making it easier for harmful bacteria to cause tooth decay. 

Saliva typically helps to wash away food and fight off these bacteria by neutralizing the acids they produce. Without sufficient saliva, your oral space becomes acidic, which can harm your teeth. 

Following are other ways Suboxone causes damage to your tooth, resulting in its decay. 

  • Suboxone may contain sweeteners, particularly in melt-under-the-tongue forms. These sweeteners are the food source for the bacteria present in your mouth. When bacteria feed on the sugars, they release acidic byproducts. This acid can increase the acidity level of your oral space. Hence, it causes damage to the outer layer of your teeth and results in cavity formation.
  • Having a dry mouth and eating more sugar can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth. This imbalance can promote the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, leading to increased tooth decay.
  • Finally, people working hard to overcome any addiction may not prioritize brushing and flossing their teeth. This can build up plaque, a sticky bacterial film on teeth. These bacteria produce acids, which cause tooth decay. As a result, you should develop brushing and flossing habits even while recovering from addiction.

Preventing Tooth Decay During Suboxone Treatment

When starting Suboxone treatment, prioritize your dental health to avoid tooth decay and other complications. Ensure you’re using Suboxone correctly. If your dose requires multiple tablets or strips, apply both at once to reduce acid exposure. 

Here’s a closer look at other suggestions to consider:

Rinse Your Mouth After Taking Suboxone

Suboxone can leave an acidic residue in your mouth after use. Rinsing your mouth with water after its use neutralizes the acidity, lowering the risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Further, the acid in Suboxone can soften tooth enamel. Before brushing, wait at least one hour after your daily Suboxone dose. The waiting time will re-harden your tooth enamel and reduce the risk of wear from brushing.

Stay Hydrated and Use Saliva Substitutes

Dry mouth is a common side effect of Suboxone treatment. To avoid this, drink plenty of water at a regular interval. Furthermore, using saliva substitutes, such as sugar-free gums or lozenges, can help stimulate saliva production and relieve dryness. This way you can keep your teeth safe from decay.

Avoid Smoking and Sugary Drinks

Smoking and drinking sugary beverages are known causes of dental problems like tooth decay and cavities. When starting Suboxone treatment, it is best to avoid these habits. Quitting smoking and reducing sugary drink consumption can significantly improve your oral health outcomes.

Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups

Get regular dental check-ups to address emerging oral health problems early on. Dentists can perform thorough cleanings, examinations and preventive care to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Staying proactive with dental visits allows any potential dental problems to be detected and treated quickly, preventing further complications. Understandably, managing your health can be difficult, but some habits can have a significant impact on your oral health. Taking care of your teeth while managing your health is extremely important. Your smile is worth it, so be more caring towards your oral health!