Every person, regardless of his occupation, social position or gender, can be a connoisseur in a particular sphere of knowledge but is usually ignorant in medicine. We are used to following our therapist’s prescriptions without any hesitation. We’ve never taken the effort to investigate the way this or that medicine works …But, actually, even if we did, I doubt we’d make head or tale of what is written in thick volumes of medical books. It looks like sometimes it’s worth doing…

The recent research in the field of salivary dysfunction field has shown that over 600 medications wide-spread nowadays lead to tooth decay through saliva inhibiting in our mouth. Meanwhile, saliva executes an important function of protecting our mouth from the acid that destroys teeth. This acid is produced by bacteria while you eat sugar and it destroys the upper layer of our teeth. Salvia in its turn is rich in calcium and phosphate and flowing in it replaces the layer that has been removed.

Atropine, propranolol, clonidine, and drugs similar to them take first place among the medications harmful for our teeth. These medicines either inhibit saliva production or alter its composition that is just as bad.

Studies held on rats to see the relationship between cavity incidence, saliva flow, and specific drugs, have shown that such drugs as atropine and its similarities, including antihistamines (eg, Benedryl) and some anti-depressants (eg, Elavil, Aventyl) retard the process of saliva secretion. Propanolol, in its turn, alters salviaТs composition causing tooth decay this way.

The third drug under investigation, clonidine, has been proved to prevent saliva producing by reducing neurotransmitters – stimulators of salivary glandsТ work.

This all is sad especially because these drugs are widely used by elderly people, together with those who have heart or hypertension problems. Clonidine, by the way, is used additionally to treat children with the attention deficit problem.

Professor Watson calls doctors to reconsider using the above-mentioned drugs or at least think about the dose reducing. This we, at least, can do if we are not able to fight such disorders as Sjogren’s syndrome, autoimmune illness, and damaged salivary glands, the side effect of radiation therapy to the head or neck.