Health & Wellness

I Always Had White Teeth, But Now I Need a Cleaning, Because The Medication I Was Taking Caused Discoloration

I Always Had White Teeth, But Now I Need a Cleaning, Because The Medication I Was Taking Caused Discoloration
Having strong healthy straight white teeth at old age.
Tooth discoloration caused by common pain medications, antibiotics, and over the counter medications.

There are certain medications that can directly or indirectly result in tooth discoloration

Although tooth discoloration is not considered as a major public health problem, it has certainly onset a trend for Seniors to get dental coverage for cleaning, and towards the use of products that help whiten teeth.  Among the things that cause changes in the color of your teeth, a variety of medications that are used locally or systemically have been implicated in tooth dyschromia. 

Pain medications that may cause tooth decay

Opioids, which are prescribed to treat pain, not only cause dry mouth, but are guilty of consequent erosion of the tooth enamel.

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Diuretics, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, and heart rhythmic medications are amongst of the commonly prescribed medications that can increase your changes in developing tooth decay.

Over the counter medications:

Mouth wash which contain chlorhexidine and Cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth. Benadryl and other antihistamines can cause teeth discoloration. Cough syrups can damage teeth due to it’s acidic level, which lead to tooth decay and discoloration.   

Other medications:

Antibiotics can cause you teeth to change color, make your teeth look more brow, grey, and even a greenish color

  • Augmentin, or Amoxicillin clavulanate commonly  used to treat  a wide variety of bacterial infections.
  • Doxycycline, used to treat skin infections, check infections,  as well as other rare infections.
  • Tetracycline, used to treat acne and some respiratory infections
  • Antiseptic medications like Chlorhexidine
  • Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro used  to treat check infections like pneumonia, and skin and bone infections 
  • Anticholinergics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants medications which results in a reduction of salivary output can be linked with teeth staining.

While there isn’t a specific statistic or number of Seniors who suffer from stained teeth, it is safe to say that how clean, health, or white our teeth are is something we care about.

All in all, in most cases, tooth discoloring can be an easy or simple fix by utilizing your preventative dental benefits offered through most major insurance plans. If you don’t know if you have preventative or comprehensive dental coverage, you can always contact your insurance carrier, and insurance agent or broker.

* Keep in mind that your insurance coverage treatment options can vary depending on your insurance and the extent of the problem.


The information provided above is for educational purposes, and expresses my knowledge and experience working in the New York City Metropolitan area. The intention of this post is to help equip seniors, family, and friends with resources and information that can help you live a better and healthier life.

About the author

Medicare Health Advisor

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