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Can medications cause swollen gums?

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Some medications can cause a buildup of gum tissue, a condition called "gingival overgrowth." Gum tissue becomes so swollen that it begins to grow over the teeth and could lead to gum disease. Medications that can cause this include:

Men are more likely to develop this side effect.

  • Phenytoin, a seizure medication
  • Cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant drug often used to prevent transplant rejection
  • Blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockers, which include nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, and amlodipine

From: Oral Side Effects of Medications WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Possible Side Effects of Drugs That Lower Blood Pressure." 

Cancer Research UK: "Types and Causes of Mouth Problems."

American Academy of Periodontology: "How to Keep a Healthy Smile for Life."

Cancer Research UK: "Types and Causes of Mouth Problems." 

Academy Of General Dentistry: "Treatments For Depression Have Dental Side Effects."

Journal of the American Dental Association , June 2005.

Rees, T.D. 2000, October1998. Periodontology

Heidelbaugh, J. , 1st ed. Philadelphia, Elsevier, 2007. Clinical Men's Health: Evidence in Practice

Duthie, E.H. , 4th ed. Philadelphia, Elsevier, 2007. Practice of Geriatrics

Walsh, D. , 1st ed. Philadelphia, Saunders, 2008. Palliative Medicine

MedlinePlus: "Mouth sores."

Ciancio, S. , vol 135. Journal of the American Dental Association

Nelson, R. . August 2006. Archives of Dermatology

American Pregnancy Association: "Acne treatment during pregnancy."

MedlinePlus: "Tetracycline."

National Institutes of Health: "Taste Disorders."

Padala, K.P. 2006. Primary Care Companion Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on August 15, 2018

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Possible Side Effects of Drugs That Lower Blood Pressure." 

Cancer Research UK: "Types and Causes of Mouth Problems."

American Academy of Periodontology: "How to Keep a Healthy Smile for Life."

Cancer Research UK: "Types and Causes of Mouth Problems." 

Academy Of General Dentistry: "Treatments For Depression Have Dental Side Effects."

Journal of the American Dental Association , June 2005.

Rees, T.D. 2000, October1998. Periodontology

Heidelbaugh, J. , 1st ed. Philadelphia, Elsevier, 2007. Clinical Men's Health: Evidence in Practice

Duthie, E.H. , 4th ed. Philadelphia, Elsevier, 2007. Practice of Geriatrics

Walsh, D. , 1st ed. Philadelphia, Saunders, 2008. Palliative Medicine

MedlinePlus: "Mouth sores."

Ciancio, S. , vol 135. Journal of the American Dental Association

Nelson, R. . August 2006. Archives of Dermatology

American Pregnancy Association: "Acne treatment during pregnancy."

MedlinePlus: "Tetracycline."

National Institutes of Health: "Taste Disorders."

Padala, K.P. 2006. Primary Care Companion Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on August 15, 2018

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Can medication inflame the lining of your mouth?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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