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Does Suboxone cause tooth pain?

There is insufficient evidence at this time to determine whether or not taking Suboxone specifically causes tooth pain or other dental issues. 

What should I know about Suboxone and my oral health?

Suboxone is available as an oral film or tablet that is either dissolved in the cheek or under the tongue. One of the side effects of Suboxone is xerostomia (decreased saliva), frequently causing dry mouth. 

A dry mouth can lead to cavities since saliva helps prevent tooth decay by washing away food and bacteria and decreasing the acidity level within your mouth. The formulations of Suboxone are also acidic, which can affect tooth integrity and also cause other side effects like a painful tongue and redness in the mouth. 

In addition, patients who take Suboxone are encouraged to keep the accumulating saliva from the film or tablets in their mouth to increase absorption, which further increases the contact time the acidic solution has with the teeth, which may further increase the risk of cavities. 

Despite these concerns, it is not clear whether Suboxone is directly responsible for dental issues people experience as previous opioid use can negatively affect dentition, and some people’s oral health improves with the use of Suboxone. 

How can I maintain good oral health while taking Suboxone?

People taking Suboxone should receive routine dental care on time, at least every six months. They also should make sure their dental provider is aware they are taking Suboxone, so they can thoroughly evaluate their mouth, teeth, and gums to screen for common mouth issues that can occur while taking Suboxone. 

In addition, daily self-care such as brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once daily should become routine. People taking Suboxone can also decrease the amount of sugar in their diet, avoid tobacco products, eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. 

Any symptoms of dental or oral problems should be reported promptly to your dentist, such as: 

  • Bleeding or swollen gums when brushing or flossing 
  • Chronic bad breath 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Loose, cracked, or broken teeth 
  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth that do not heal 
  • Sudden sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages 
  • Toothache or pain 

Do not wait until your next appointment or chalk any of the above symptoms up to just a side effect of your Suboxone. 

If you experience a high fever, facial or neck swelling with any of the above symptoms, you should immediately notify your dentist and seek emergency services. 

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA, received her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degrees from Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and completed her community pharmacy residency with Midwestern University and a local community pharmacy.

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