Crumbling teeth

Last week, I had to have two crumbling teeth filled at great expense which served me right for making and eating an exceedingly gooey batch of flapjacks. This week a filling has popped out and the tooth under it has broken. I am wondering if this could be a side effect of almost three years on pred - currently on 5mg after a setback - or is it just my age which is 73?

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  • A lot of people do complain of tooth problems after being put on pred but officially it is said that pred itself does not cause dental changes. However, it can cause changes to the blood supply in the gums - and gum disease is a very common reason for tooth problems. Some people say pred can cause a dry mouth and when your teeth aren't being bathed in saliva that can also lead to trouble as the enamel can be damaged, the normal bacterial population in the mouth changes and caries results. Then, of course, PMR itself sometimes throws up other problems, an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren's syndrome is one and that is associated with a dry mouth etc.

    Are you on other medications? There are several that can lead to a dry mouth, or which require very careful mouth hygiene when you are taking them - flossing and brushing extra regularly. Alendronic acid is one.

    I've been on pred of various sorts for nearly 5 years, most of the time well over 10mg/day and have one tooth that a bit has broken off - but to be fair the tooth was more filling than tooth and the rest are OK. I did have sensitive teeth for a long time - hot, cold was interesting at times but that has also gone away. Can't say whether it is a lower dose or a different sort of pred though.

    Are tooth problems an inevitable part of aging? If so I suppose it could be said that pred is the cause as it is beginning to be wondered whether the action of steroids is to speed up the aging process and that is what causes many of the side effects.

  • Thanks PMRpro. I don't have any gum disease, thank goodness, so I can rule that out; nor do I have a dry mouth. I'm on several other medications but not the dreaded AA. So perhaps, age is the cause. I had a mouth full of fillings before I had PMR, despite being fed calcium tablets as a child, because I loathe milk, though not other dairy products. I'm taking my AdCal daily dose as prescribed.

  • I've had a series of extractions due to teeth crumbling over the last 2/3 years, but whether or not this would have happened anyway is debatable. My brother has the same problem and he definitely isn't on steroids.

  • Have a look at Weston A Price (who was a dentist) to improve your dental AND general health.

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