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Can My Anxiety Medicine Contribute to Gum Disease?

Question: Tackle this one. I use a medication for anxiety. I use either Clonazepam or Ativan. Can the medication I use be a contributing factor to the gingivitis???


One of the common side effects of Clonazepam and Ativan (a brand name for Lorazepam) is dry mouth.

Dry mouth means the mucous membranes become dry. Bacteria find it easier to grow and proliferate in the dryer environment and without or less of the natural mucous secretions of your mouth.

Since bacteria are responsible for both gingivitis and bad breath, this could cause or contribute to either one or both of these problems.

The answer is yes, they can contribute to gum disease indirectly by creating a better environment for the bacteria to grow in.

You could check with your doctor for alternatives that don’t have the side effect of dry mouth.

There is this possible alternative. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before switching or taking it though. There could be dangerous interactions, particularly in conjunction with your current medication. In addition, your doctor may not approve of any alternatives.

Thought you might be interested in some of the other side effects of the above mentioned drugs – You can read about them here.

Anytime you get a prescription drug you can ask the pharmacist for a printout of possible side effects. They should be willing to do that for you.

Pharmacists are usually better versed in drug interactions and side effects than medical doctors are. You can learn a lot by talking to your pharmacist.

Hope that was helpful?

Author: What You Should Know about Gum Disease

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* Note: This post is for entertainment or informational purposes only and is not intended to offer advice of any kind. If you have or think you might have any medical or oral health condition, visit your doctor, dentist or periodontist for advice, diagnosis and treatment. The FDA has not evaluated statements about any products discussed on this site.

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