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How Aspirin Can Cause Tooth Damage

Posted on 1/20/2019 by Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS
How Aspirin Can Cause Tooth Damage
Aspirin can help people who have heart conditions avoid a potential heart attack, but their effect on your teeth is being debated in the last couple of years.

Does Aspirin Cause Damage to Your Teeth?

Several studies supported the theory that aspirin caused severe tooth erosion when used regularly. Researchers at the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore even concluded that this medication could harm the soft tissue of the mouth.

Most of the adverse side effects from taking aspirin are caused by chewing the medicine. Patients who need to take aspirin due to a heart condition or other systemic issues, should not be eating it because it causes extensive erosion.

Researchers studied one female patient who complained of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and took up to eight aspirin a day to relieve the pain. The woman placed the tablets on her teeth and let them dissolve chewing the last of the medicine. She had not seen a dentist in 10-years and had extensive problems, but the most damaged teeth were the ones she used to chew the aspirin.

There were other subjects of this study, but the conclusions were quite definite in blaming aspirin for tooth damage.

Can Aspirin Reverse Tooth Decay?

More recently, researchers in Belfast, found that taking aspirin can increase tooth regeneration. This study was published in September of 2017 and showed completely different results from other studies as the ones mentioned here.

The head researcher focuses on how we can enhance the tooth's ability to regenerate and repair. This will reduce the need for dental fillings. The findings in this study are promising because they seem to indicate aspirin helps stem cells to improve on their own by regenerating the tooth.

These conclusions would allow us to come up with treatments in which the patient's teeth repair themselves within specific parameters. More studies are needed to confirm these findings, but it's encouraging news.
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