GCA and teeth

Hello everybody

Having already written recently regarding the glaucoma problem, I now find yet another. My gums have always been a problem and I have spent years visiting dentists and buying every sort of toothbrush, interdental brushes, electric brushes etc I now find that the gums have shrunk back so much due to the high doses of pred that I have to have teeth removed soon. However my dentist cannot take them out and when I mentioned this to the consultant I saw yesterday he did not think the hospital would either. Also ordinary antibiotics are not suitable either when you are taking steroids. Apparently I have an infection deep within the roots of one tooth which cannot be reached. I would be interested to hear if other people have problems with their teeth. The consultant also told me I am now diabetic but he is hoping to bring my steroid dose from 40mg down to 10mg by increased doses of Mycrophenolate which may solve the problem. What joy this illness brings!!!

7 Replies

  • Hi- sorry to hear of your additional problems. I am surprised by your comment that ordinary antibiotics are no good when on steroids. I had a infected wisdom tooth out recently and my excellent dentist had me on Amoxycillin before and after - no probs. Hope you get it sorted.

  • Most of us have had ordinary abx while on steroids and they seem to have worked. Even for tooth problems.

    Me? I'd be looking for a second opinion.

  • Hi,

    I took Amoxycillin when I was on v.high doses of Pred, no problems - think you definitely need a second opinion.

  • Yes I've had ordinary antibiotics whilst having a tooth out with no problem. Also had an infection which my ordinary dentist could not reach to clean out and do complete root treatment so I was referred to another specialist privately who was able to carry out the complete root canal treatment. Again had ordinary antibiotics ( can't remember which one but again avoiding the quinoline family of antibiotics)I would agree with previous posts to get a second opinion.


  • Thanks everyone for your replies. I have another appointment with my dentist soon and I will tell her that ordinary antibiotics are fine. I think she is being careful.

  • Some dentists dodge out of tooth removal when you're on steroids - including mine - or they refer you to the local hospital orthodontic dept. Other dentists who regularly treat older folks have no qualms about dental treatment and extractions for steroid users - because it's their regular thing - like the dentist I saw recently whilst on holiday for emergency root drainage in a "more elderly" part of England.

    I guess it's down to what you can persuade them to do depending on the merits of individual cases and the dentists predisposition.

    Also - I had a finger/nail infection a few weeks back and that was treated successfully with amoxycillin with no problem - and I've been on steroids for the past year. But there are some forms of antibiotic that I am allergic to. I can't blame them for being careful though. Hope that helps you.

  • I had one who refused to remove a crooked wisdom tooth because it would "cause more trouble than it was worth" - I realised when I did have the single rooted upper wisdom tooth out (on pred and anticoagulants, no problem) that he hadn't wanted to do it because he wouldn't be paid enough. Like a few other things he hadn't done. He did me a favour by going private - made me an offer I felt totally able to refuse and I sought another NHS dentist in a very impoverished local area where they knew going private would lose them all their work! They were fantastic - and very up-to-date unlike the previous guy who was still using his original chair and he was the same age as me...

You may also like...