Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). It’s a powerful tool that can help people overcome addiction and reclaim their lives.

However, there’s a side effect that doesn’t get much attention: the tooth problems caused by Suboxone.

If you’re currently taking Suboxone or considering it as part of your OUD treatment plan, you might be wondering about the types of damage the drug can cause to your teeth.

While Suboxone itself isn’t directly destroying your teeth, it creates an environment that makes them more susceptible to decay and other issues.

How Suboxone Affects Your Teeth

Suboxone comes in various forms, including dissolvable films placed under the tongue. When dissolved, the medication interacts with opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. However, this interaction also affects saliva production – a crucial component of oral health.

Saliva plays a vital role in your mouth. It washes away food particles and bacteria, neutralizes acids produced by plaque, and helps remineralize tooth enamel. When saliva production decreases due to your use of Suboxone, it creates an environment conducive to the development of various dental problems.

The Most Common Dental Issues Associated with Using Suboxone

Here’s a closer look at some of the most common dental problems Suboxone users might encounter:

Dry Mouth

This is the most frequent side effect and the root cause of many other issues. Without adequate saliva flow, your mouth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Suboxone users will likely suffer constant feelings of dryness, discomfort, and difficulty speaking or swallowing.

Stained Teeth

A dry mouth can contribute to the buildup of plaque and food particles on the teeth, leading to discoloration and staining.

Increased Risk of Cavities

Reduced saliva flow weakens your mouth’s natural defenses against tooth decay. Saliva helps neutralize acids produced by plaque, which can erode tooth enamel if left unchecked. This erosion makes teeth more susceptible to cavities.

Oral Thrush

The disruption caused by a dry mouth can lead to an overgrowth of fungus in your mouth. This nasty critter, called thrush, shows up as white patches on your tongue and cheeks and comes with a burning feeling.

Gum Disease

Dry mouth isn’t just bad for teeth, it’s bad for gums too. The bacteria bonanza creates an environment where your gums get inflamed, red, and bleed easily. If left unchecked, this can snowball into gum disease, which can even damage the bone supporting your teeth.

Tooth Erosion

A few things can contribute to tooth erosion for Suboxone users. Dry mouth, of course, is one culprit. However, some Suboxone formulations have acidic components that can also wear down enamel. Some people experience teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) as a side effect, which can further erode the teeth.

How You Can Help Yourself

Here are the steps you can take to mitigate the dental risks of Suboxone use:

Keep Your Mouth Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is crucial. Carry a water bottle with you and sip frequently. Sugar-free sugar substitutes can also help stimulate saliva production.

Brushing and Flossing Regularly

Maintain a meticulous oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after meals and before bed, using fluoride toothpaste. You should make it a habit to floss daily in order to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth.

Consider Saliva Substitutes

Over-the-counter saliva substitutes can help alleviate dry mouth symptoms and provide some protection for your teeth. Talk to your doctor or dentist about finding the right product for you.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings, ideally more frequently than the typical twice-yearly recommendation.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

You deserve a healthy smile, and you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden of dental problems caused by a medication you were prescribed.

There are currently over 500 product liability lawsuits filed against Indivior Inc., the manufacturers of Suboxone, for their lack of warning against the dental risks associated with it.

You should get in touch with a competent product liability attorney to join the list of defendants suing Indivior Inc., to get the compensation that you deserve.