Dental problems due to disease and medications

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 12/19/2008 3:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I went to the dentist today because I had part of 2 different fillings fall out and thought that i would be in and out with a couple of new fillings. Instead, I left his office set up with an appointment for 2 root canals and possibliy a third one depending on how a antibiotic filling works over the weekend. I have noticed that my teeth were more sensitive since I started all of the Crohn''s medications, but did not realize the damage that has been taking place over the past 4 years. I was on a huge dose of remicade for over 3 1/2 years and steroids for the past six months. Of couse during those 3 1/2 years I was also on and off steroids and other medications to supplement the remicade. about a year ago, my Rheumy diagnosed me with steroid induce osteoporosis and vitamin D deficieny. I was then prescribed fosomax and boniva many different times. You would think that because the fosomax and boniva are for stengthening the bone, that they would also be good for your teeth, but I learned today that these medications are extremely damaging on the teeth. My dentist also mentioned that the prednisone and the immunosuppressants also can damage your teeth. I had very little pain in the teeth, but did have a sore jaw alot, but I attributed that to arthritis.
Anyways, I know that this has turned more into a rant, but I just wanted to get the warning out to everyone to really make sure that you keep up on your teeth. I know that I have not been going for my regular 6 month checkups because I was so involved with keeping up with my other doctors and health situations. If I would have gone in sooner, I could be avoiding all of this. My dentist did part of the root canal on one tooth and fill another, and now I am in pain. He mentioned that due to the lack of stength in my teeth right now, the fillings are more easily dislodged. When the 2 that fell out occurred, I was just flossing with those disposable flossers. I just happen to feel a little bit of the filling in my mouth and was shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw a huge hole in one of my teeth. Hopefully, this message will prompt or remind everyone to go get checkup for bone density and also keep up with your checkups. This disease depletes us of so many vitamins and nutrients and it ususally takes a long time before we realize that something may be happening.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/19/2008 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Thanks for the heads up on the dental problems and you are right we need to keep up with our body health in all gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still gail

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/19/2008 7:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had horrible teeth ever since my diagnosis. I have crowns on just about every tooth in my mouth now. Thank God for that because I wouldn't have teeth otherwise. Luckily for me I have dental insurance and a dentist who just takes what the insurance pays for his fees.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.

gemini kiwi
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1136
   Posted 12/19/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Last week I ate a dry cracker and a Banana for lunch and managed to crack a back tooth, a very expensive lunch. I'm sick about it, and will wait to see how my health is before I decide to get an expensive crown.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 12/19/2008 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I new that the pred could do bone damage because i am diagnosed with osteopenia, but never thought about it doing damage to my teeth. I am scared of the dentist and have only been in once when i was 15. I guess I should make an appointment soon :)
Age:22/6"1'/146lb - Diagnosed: 2001 @ age 15 now 22
First time mom as of March 8th 2008
Past drugs: Pentasa, Flagyl, Budesonide, Prednisone, tons of Antibiotics, Didrocal, 6mp
Past herbal remedies and vitamins:Probiotics, Omega 3&6, Prenatal vitamins, B12, Calcium, iron, vit C, vit D, vit E, Selenium, mineral drops
Current drugs: Valtrex, Methotrexate as of October 2008
Problems:Fissure and Tags on rectum, blood clots, Chronic UTI's, Osteopenia, Ulcers in my decending Colon
No surgeries....yet. Gone through 5 G.I.'s found a 6th G.I. crossing my fingers
Procedures: 4 colonoscopies, 1 upper endoscopy, 2 barium swallows, 1 biopsy of the fissure and tag (chron's affected)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/19/2008 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah I am in the process right now over getting 4 more crowns. I will only have two teeth that are not crowned right now, but I doubt that will last. I think its not only from our meds, but also from our poor diets, even though we do try to eat right, but its not always possible.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 12/19/2008 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I never had a cavity til after my Dx and pred. I told my dentist about that, but she said the pred wouldn't be the cause because my teeth were already formed. Fooey.
Hoping to stay in remission after the birth of a healthy baby girl. On Pentasa during my pregnancy, went med-free 2 months to nurse (stupid), but back on Pentasa and still nursing.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/19/2008 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was dx'd almost 10 yrs ago and iv'e had the same problems. After getting about 5 root canals my dentist recomended the option of getting dentures. once i weighed all my options(having a root canal done every 6 months, having teeth pulled) i decided to go ahead and have all my teeth pulled and get dentures. the best part is i don't have the mouth pain i dealt with for so long and my self esteem is higher too. iI am so glad i went ahead and did it and i don't regret it at all.
27 yr old male, father of 2&1/2yr old daughter and 8mo old son.
Dx'd in 1998 w\ chohn's
resection of TI & stricturoplasty on Feb. 26, '08
MEDS: Remicade every 4 weeks, Pentasa 2000mgs/day,entocort 6mgs/day,Imuran 100mg/day, 1 multivitamin a day and fosamax once a week, nexium 40 mg/day

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 1/26/2009 4:04 AM (GMT -7)   
HOw many teeth did you have pulled at once? Were you sedated? How long did it take to recover from the pain and get use to the dentures. Did you have to have shots in your gums to numb them prior to the extractions... I'm very scared with a very low tolerance to pain. I know that I should just get them all pulled and wear dentures but I can't seem to get past the fear.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 544
   Posted 1/26/2009 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   

I am both cursed and blessed to married to a Dental Hygienist.  Blessed because she takes really good care of my teeth (and because she is the love of my life) and cursed because she is constantly after me about my teeth.  She and the dentist she works for have been very concerned about any steriod use and we really keep an eye on the bone density as it pertains to the jaw and bone surrounding my teeth.

Two other big issues to be aware of: 1) If you have had surgery with-in the year prior to seeing your dentist be sure to mention it before you have anything done...this means cleanings or anything.  Surgery can lower your resistence to infection and work done in the mouth is a higher than normal risk for your dentist may want you to be on anti-b's either before or after treatment.  The dentist may do nothing...may even be surprised that you bring it up....but it is better to be safe than sorry.  Infections in the mouth are extremely dangerous because they are so close to the heart, brain and spine.  You wuld be surprised by the number of people who die or get gravely ill every year due to mouth/tooth infections.

2)  Have your dentist and or hygienist take a close look in your mouth at your gums.  In the past year my wife has found 5 patients with the beginnings of oral cancer. All were caught in early stages and four of the five show no signs of complicatuions.  Sadly, one of the five has now undergone two operations, had bone and tissue removed and the final outcome is still in question.....BUT...if left untreated and undetected all of the five could have faced serious life threatening issues.  Even the one who is having to go through the radical treatments is better off ...he had his oncologist call my wife and the dentist (as well as send a letter) letting them know thatthe cancer was so aggressive that had they not found the tiny, tiny spot on his gums and insisted that he seek immediate testing...He would be dead.

I know so many of us are never hungry enough to what is the use of having teeth...but we do need them and more than that we need our entire mouths is not just healthy teeth...but healthy teeth, gums, and is everything.


Ok getting off my soapbox now.


dx IBS 1999   UC 2000   CD 2001
Tested BIOGEN TYSABRI (gave me 2 years of remission)
tried Naltrexone Jan. 19, 2007 Stopped the Naltrexone July 28th...started Humira Aug 31st, 2007...current dose one shot every week. Also nightly dose of mesalamine.
Surgery Nov 4th, 2008 removed 30 inches of small bowel.
 Crohns is currently active and has been since April of 2005
52 yrs old

Julia Hill
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 560
   Posted 1/26/2009 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   
In the last 5 years I have been having problems with my teeth also. I have been on pred for 29 years, but when I really noticed the problem was after being on methotrexate. My dentist said she see's this all the time with patients on chemo. It reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth and therefore cavities at the gum line will start. Everytime I turn around I have chipped a tooth or lost a filling. Recently had to have a tooth pulled because it broke below the gum line, luckily it was a back tooth. I go to the dentist every 6 months and have for years. This is definately a concern.

Happy flossing,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 1/26/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow Julia. thanks for the heads up on the Methotraxate, since taking that and the pred I have chipped 5 teeth and I feel my front two teeth wearing away. Will definetly discuss this with my dentist.
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