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 Post subject: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Okay, so I have been on suboxone for about 6 years. Never really had any problem other than constipation but that seems to be normal. Has anyone had tooth decay or lose from suboxone? My teeth have never been a problem and my husband actually makes fun of me for how much I brush and floss. The last year I had 3 root canals and 2 teeth pulled. They are all bottom teeth other than 1 on the top. It seems weird that all teeth I have had problems with are pretty close to where I take the suboxone and the problems started after long term use of suboxone.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:54 am 
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Welcome to the forum Amanda! My son has been on suboxone for about 3 years and he also brushes & flosses many times throughout the day. He went to the dentist & was told he brushes to much! The dentist said he brushes off the protective enamel and thats in part why he has decaying teeth. The dentist also said dry mouth & snoring at nite are often to blame. It's funny you posted this question because he & I actually talked about his teeth on Sunday :lol: My son did Not tell the dentist he was on suboxone so it's possible the sub could be exacerbating the decay.

He has also been using for 10 + years and taking care of his body was not a priority, getting his dope was, so a small cavity was ignored until the tooth was really in bad shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Tiki hit the nail on the head! All opiates cause dry mouth. Dry mouth causes tooth decay. Also, during active addiction people do not take care of their health. Root canals and major decay take years and years to develop. I had the same thing happen after a dentist scared me to death when I was 18, telling me I needed "jigsaw" surgery to cut my mouth to pieces and wire it back together! I didn't go to the dentist again for 10 years. I had the same result as you and I've had to have extensive dental work myself. I hope yours goes well and your dental health returns!

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:19 pm 
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I became a major sugar junkie on opiates. Not sure about everyone else, but if I ate at all, it was usually something sweet. I too took care of my teeth, but wound up with a dozen cavities and decay along the gum line. I also did not make going to the dentist a priority. When I did finally go last year, they told me they could tell I had good home care, and chalked the decay up to bad diet. Thankfully I needed no root canals, but lots and lots of fillings.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:59 pm 
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Oh, that’s very sad dear!! I think we must consult our dentists regarding the use of suboxone. I was also thinking to use them but will contact my family dentist Torrance before investing in that.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:58 am 
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I don't think that dentists know anything but their own experience because there is no literature on suboxone being a cause of tooth decay. There is literature about dry mouth causing tooth decay and all opiates cause dry mouth. There are products out there to help with dry mouth, however. Anyone on opiates should consider using them. Unfortunately, during active addiction, people don't make dentistry a priority.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:46 am 
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Amy is right, addicts notoriously don't take care of their teeth, or their health. Add the cost of dental care, and there you have it...who wants to do something both painful and expensive? I didn't. Fortunately my teeth are not beyond repair, but I had lots of cavities to be filled this year, and I need several crowns on my molars cause they all have cracks in them. $1300+ for each crown. I probably grind my teeth in my sleep. But I don't blame the drugs entirely, dry mouth or not. I blame waaaaay too much sugar. No amount of brushing or flossing could keep up with the sugar I consumed. Plus I never had my teeth cleaned as recommended. I'd go years, even decades, between cleanings. Maybe I've been lucky....but I think bad teeth are a combination of a lot of things, including genetics. Now that I'm off methadone, I am happy to say I am back to eating real food, and much less of it...the sugar cravings are gone. But I've still got lots of work to do on my teeth, if I want to keep them, that is.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:36 pm 
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You guys are making horrific generalizations...
"You're an addict so you must have terrible health and hygiene"

Couldn't be less true.
Many of us DO take care of ourselves. That was the whole point of the post.
The issue wasn't 'i don't brush my teeth ever because I am on drugs'.
We all know poor upkeep causes tooth decay, that's a given.
That said, The OP wanted to know if SUBOXONE, not poor dental hygiene, could cause tooth decay, in and of itself.

And I... a person who DOES take care of their own health, regardless of personal issues, can safely say that I truly believe the subs cause your teeth to rot. I was about to start my own post about it when i saw this. I don't have any hard proof aside from the fact that I have had only a small few minor cavities in my life, but after & since starting subs? My wisdom teeth have decayed down to nothing. They were decaying before I even realized they were growing in. Smh. It's spreading to my other molars as well. Total bummer.
....and I do brush my teeth on the reg, as well as use a fluoride rinse -__-


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:37 pm 
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First of all, I don't think anyone is making horrific generalizations. That's a bit dramatic. We are stating what we know just like you are stating what is true for you. And did you read Tiki's post about her son who thought he was taking good care of his teeth and his dentist told him he was brushing too much/hard and wearing the protective enamel off his teeth?

Here is a scholarly study done in the UK: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v191/ ... 1206a.html

The study concluded that opiate abusers are less likely to access dental care than a sampling of comparable non opiate users.

Here is another article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3808011/ from the US National Institute of health.

Here is an article I found about MAT and dental health: http://www.recovery.org/can-methadone-a ... al-health/

If you find any studies to back up your personal point of view feel free to share them. The research I've looked at tonight includes articles that talk about how wisdom teeth are notorious for being super hard to clean properly: http://www.animated-teeth.com/wisdom_te ... isease.htm

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:56 am 
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I do feel my teeth are suffering bit but I wouldn't say rotting... I tend to smoke more for some reason on Subutex and I brush my teeth a lot which is not good it causes my gums to recede.. But I really think the main issue is that Subs require you to drink a lot of water because of its long half life (we all know the constipation it causes) but many times I know I prob don't drink enough causing a dry mouth which is not good for teeth. I would say for me it is indirectly related. I was addicted to shorter acting opiates but I would think its the same effect anyone who was on longer acting opiates would have. This is my theory.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:17 pm 
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I think you're probably right csinny, based on the research I did last night. In case you aren't up to date on my life (and why should you be?), :) , I am in grad school for addiction studies now, so I not only have google as a resource for articles, but I have my university's library database.

My husband has also gotten feedback from his dentist that he over-brushes and he's wearing down his enamel and making grooves in his teeth. I think his gums are OK though.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:00 pm 
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Amy good luck on your studies! My dentist did confirm I over brush as well.. My gums are receeding and are very sensetive.. I use The toothpaste for sensetive teeth and it does help. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:28 pm 
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I know that I absolutely did not take care of myself like I did before when I was in active addiction. That's just fact for most of us and Amy is right, I'd never take offense to that cause it's true. I never had one cavity til I started using....not a one and that is amazing considering I was 34 on getting my first cavity. I don't blame sub, it's just the way it happens. Another wonderful after effect of using.

I've had to have several procedures since then to get myself bk to normal with my teeth. And I started that when suboxone gave me my life bk cause I could actually afford it when I stopped using. Just wanted to be honest, addiction does cause ya to put ur health in the bk seat.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:58 pm 
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For me I always took care I my teeth but even when you do the teeth suffer due to the dry mouth from opiates.. I think some people who have a predisposition to sensitivity with their teeth suffer more as well.. I was also thinking that maybe since the medication sits in your mouth longer it may irritate already sensitive teeth? Just a thought:) as I'm writing this my molars are irritated and I want to brush again but I know I shouldnt already brushed 3x and it's only 2pm.. Bad Cycle


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:24 pm 
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I don't wanna make it sound like I never brushed my teeth when I was using my doc lol that kinda sounded like that's what I meant and it wasn't. I just meant on days when I was sick in withdrawal, last thing I thought of was my teeth. There'd be days I'd only brush once cause I'd be running around all day chasing a pill or something. I just didn't pay as much attention as I used to or do now is all I meant by that.

And yeah csinny, I can see what ur saying about the dry mouth and stuff, there's all kinds of reasons why our teeth could get damaged. But for me, I definitely slacked while in active addiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:27 pm 
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I can honestly say that I have not had any rotten teeth or cavity's since being on sub or methadone. I brush my teeth regularly but not too much and I barely floss. I am so worried about my teeth falling out from this stuff that I cannot wait to put my request in to go down to 2mg tommorow. Does anyone know if it will cause tooth decay after just a short time on it?? Like say a month? How long does it take for the teeth to start rotting out? I know probably nobody knows that but I'm freaking out now. I spent way too much on my teeth for them to just rot out of my head.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with teeth
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:28 pm 
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I recommend that you relax, at least in regard to Suboxone and tooth decay. The term for the excitement on the issue is 'observation bias'--- a phenomenon where something seems to happen more frequently when someone is looking for it. About a third of my patients take buprenorphine products, and most of the buprenorphine patients take Suboxone. I have patients who have bad teeth who never touched an opioid. And I have many patients on Suboxone film who have no dental problems. In general, people who spend a few years of their lives addicted to opioids have gone through a few years without appropriate dental care--- so there is a higher incidence of dental problems in people addicted to opioids. All opioids also increase the risk of GE reflux-- and that may contribute to some of the dental problems in people addicted to opioids.

In order to 'blame Suboxone'-- as some people are eager to do-- you have to come up with a proposed mechanism. The film is not digestible by bacteria, and is neutral pH. If anything, dosing tends to INCREASE salivation-- and saliva is healthy for teeth, as it helps balance pH and lubricate as we eat.

The most creative idea I've seen was in an article by a dentist who wondered if Suboxone could have an effect by directly binding to white blood cells, and reducing immune function in some way. The problem with that theory is that buprenorphine is only in the mouth for 20 minutes or so, maybe twice per day... so it is hard to see how that little percentage of time could have an effect. Not to mention that white blood cells don't play a significant role in fighting infection on the surface of teeth.

The people who work at the FDA are smart enough to have considered possible effects on teeth, at the time that Suboxone received approval. I've noticed a bit of a bump in interest about Suboxone and teeth-- as in 'let's all file a class action lawsuit!!'-- but I wouldn't hold my breath over the issue. This idea has come.... and gone.


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