This course has expired and is no longer available.
Prescription and over-the-counter medicines, home remedies, and supplements are used to combat illness, provide relief, and support health. The unintended oral consequences of medications and supplements are rarely discussed. Many medications and products have acidic pH levels. Others may be formulated with high levels of fermentable carbohydrates, and some products have both a high sugar content and low pH levels. Caries is a pH mediated microbial infection in which acid production via carbohydrate metabolism damages hard tooth structure. While erosion does not have a microbial component, damage occurs with regular, sustained acid attacks on tooth structure. It is important to understand formulations—syrups, lozenges, hard disks, sprays, gummy chews, gels, rinses, powders, effervescent tablets, chewable tablets, and tablet coatings. The impact of medications, remedies, and supplements on both acid erosion and caries development is important, especially if products are used routinely or multiple times a day. A thorough health history can uncover previously hidden risk factors that can lead to the development or exacerbation of erosive tooth wear or a caries infection.
At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants will achieve the following:
1. Appreciate how medications can play a role in caries and erosion
2. Recognize hidden sources of fermentable carbohydrates
3. Learn about ingredients and product formulations
4. Discover the destructive role of citric acid
5. Understand why dry mouth increases risk for caries and erosion
6. Compare pH levels of oral moisturizers
7. Know how a detailed health history uncovers dangerous habits and products
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