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 Post subject: Tooth Issues
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:23 am 
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I just read in a non related post about someone's comments regarding how Suboxone rots teeth. I just want to know if there is any truth to this, as over my 4 years of using Suboxone, I have had some serious issues with my teeth. I could never figure out why I was getting holes in my teeth that were beyond cavities. Literally, gaping holes in my teeth would just be there one day and I would have no clue how it got that bad out of nowhere. It started about 2 years ago, and since then I have had 3 root canals to fix 3 holes in different molars. Over this time I started brushing my teeth 3 times per day and becoming obsessed with my oral care. Floss, mouthwash, and other products, I would use every day. It did nothing. Just 3 weeks ago I felt the back right molar in my mouth with my tongue, and once again, another hole has formed.

It all makes perfect sense if this is true, otherwise I am completely clueless why my teeth are in such bad shape. Can anyone confirm that this in fact is a proven side effect from prolonged usage of Suboxone?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:08 am 
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Hello Prolifik and welcome. There is no evidence that suboxone has any effect whatsoever on the teeth. Actually, it takes years and years for our teeth to "go bad" so to speak. More than 4 years, most likely, in fact. This has been discussed here before and Dr. Junig also weighed in and agreed with this point of view. I know you want to link suboxone and your teeth problems as a causal relationship, but it's more of a correlation than cause and effect. Chances are since you take such good care of your teeth that it's either related to the way you used to take care of them or it's genetic - but that's just my non-medical/non-dental opinion. Take care.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:52 am 
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Patients on methadone try to link methadone with dental issues...I've never read anything that supports this...either for methadone or sub. I was on methadone almost three years, legally, and didn't have any new problems with my teeth.
After i started abusing opiates I started having a lot of dental issues, however...I ended up, after a year abusing fentanyl, going to treatment, then abusing vicodin, then another recovery, needing 6 root canals. I started wondering if it had anything to do with opiate use. I always have taken good care of my teeth, but also during that time I was eating more hard candy with sugar....I would get stuck doing an anesthesia case that could take 10 hours or longer and due to staffing issues might not get a break, so I'd always have some form of sugar in my pocket in case my blood sugar got too low....so that, for me, is more likely the cause! but it was short lived, i didn't do the sugar thing all the time. It is interesting that I've had nothing but probems since abusing opiates. My whole life growing up I had just one or two cavities...and was always told I had "good" teeth...
but, again, I've never read any literature supporting the correlation of sub, methadone use with dental issues.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:49 am 
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I had no issues with my teeth until this last summer. Never even had a cavity and then I had major problems in four teeth. I never thought to relate it to Sub, though, and I I don't see how it could be related. I know dry mouth can really harm your teeth, but I didn't get that from Sub. I just wonder what the link would be. I'm thinking it's probably all the sugar and candy I eat and wasn't the Suboxone. I could be wrong, I guess.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:34 pm 
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My doctor said the tooth decay suffered by opiate users/abusers and Sub patients is a result of having less saliva - the dreaded "dry mouth" side effect. Less saliva means more chance for bacteria to grow in your mouth & more tooth decay. That and also opiate addicts tend to crave sweets and maybe neglect their oral health.

I am some kind of freak of nature, never even had a cavity until I was 34 and when I got my first one I was curious if it had anything to do with the pills or Suboxone. So that was my doctor's take on the situation.

To combat this, you can drink a LOT of water and there are special toothpastes that have some kind of enzyme that help combat dry mouth. I used Biotene most of the time I was on Suboxone and it helped somewhat. Rinsing your mouth with salt water also cuts down on bacteria and isn't as harsh as using Listerine or other mouthwash.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:37 pm 
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When I was a kid my mom took me to the dentist 2 x's a year. I only had one cavity my whole life. Between 19 and 27 I only went to the dentist twice. Never had another cavity. I started on suboxone at 26. After a year of being on suboxone I went in and had all sorts of x-rays, a panoramic x ray, and check up. Not one cavity. 3 years later I go in and I have 10 cavities, need a root canal, had to have 2 molars pulled out, my wisdome teeth had actual holes going through them. I didn't tell the dentist that I take suboxone. He thought it was very weird for my age to start getting so many cavities. He also was at loss of why many of the cavities are on the front of my teeth. I have been working on getting them fixed for the last 5 months. Last week when I was their he noticed a cavitey on a tooth that wasn't there 5 month's ago. It wasn't on the x-ray and he didn't notice it in the exam. When he went to fill it he was rather suprised at how bad it was. I take good care of my teeth. I brush 2 to 3 times daily, floss at least 3 times a week, and use a floride rinse once a day. I am hoping the switch to the strips would help alittle. With the tablets I would be dosing for about at least 2 hours a day. Sometimes I'd wake up an hour before I need to get up and put my meds in and an hour later when I wake up there is still part of the tablet left. I also have notice that even when I'm not dosing that I suck the spit away from toung area(like when I am dosing). It proble isn't the suboxone, but more the dry mouth.

Can't find the spell check so sorry in advance.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:42 pm 
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I see you're new, Nellie, so I just wanted to welcome you to the forum!

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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