Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects Reported by FDA

Key Takeaways:

  • Suboxone can cause significant oral health problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and dry mouth due to its administration method and impact on saliva production.
  • To minimize Suboxone's negative effects on oral health, patients should maintain meticulous dental hygiene, stay hydrated, limit sugar intake, have regular dental check-ups, and work closely with healthcare providers.
  • For patients who have experienced severe oral health issues potentially linked to Suboxone use, exploring legal options and consulting with an experienced attorney may help them understand their legal options

Overview of Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects

On this page, we’ll discuss an overview of Suboxone oral health side effects, dental problems associated with Suboxone opioid treatment, how to file a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit, and much more.

Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects Reported by FDA

Intro to Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects

Key side effects of Suboxone on oral health include:

  • Tooth Decay and Cavities: Prolonged exposure of teeth to the medication can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
  • Oral Infections: Users may experience increased susceptibility to oral infections.
  • Loss of Teeth: Severe cases can result in loss of teeth due to decay and infections.
  • Reduced Saliva Production: Suboxone can reduce saliva, which is essential for neutralizing acids and protecting teeth.

If you have experienced severe tooth loss, gum disease, or chronic oral health issues linked to your Suboxone treatment, you may qualify for a lawsuit.

Contact TruLawsuit Info using the chat on this page to receive an instant case evaluation and determine your eligibility for a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit today.

Table of Contents

Research of Suboxone Dental Health Issues

The Suboxone dental health study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides critical insights into the dental health issues experienced by patients undergoing Suboxone treatment for opioid dependence.

The study was conducted in Boston, Massachusetts, between May and November 2012, involving patients treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The primary focus was to investigate the dental health deterioration reported by patients after initiating Suboxone treatment.

Patient Demographics

  • Mean Age: 34.4 years (SD = 8.8), ranging from 24 to 54 years.
  • Gender Distribution: 45.5% male and 54.5% female.
  • Ethnicity: Predominantly white (90.9%), with 9.1% identifying as Hispanic.

Treatment Details

  • Duration of Buprenorphine Treatment: Mean of 45.7 months (SD = 23.3), ranging from 5 to 77 months.
  • Current Buprenorphine Dose: Mean of 11.6 mg per day (SD = 7.0), ranging from 2 to 20 mg.
  • Formulation Used: 63.6% used Suboxone tablets, while 36.4% used generic buprenorphine tablets.
  • Frequency of Medication Intake: Mean of 3.2 times per day (SD = 1.2), ranging from 2 to 5 times.
  • Time Required for Pill Dissolution: Mean of 8.9 minutes (SD = 8.1), ranging from 1 to 30 minutes.

Key Data and Findings to Support Suboxone Dental Claims

Eleven patients with opioid dependence, all of whom reported worsening dental health after starting buprenorphine treatment, provided informed consent and participated in the study.

Based on the findings from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, here are some key data points to support dental claims related to Suboxone use:

  • Mean Number of Dental Caries: 5.2 caries per patient (SD = 6.6), with a range of 0 to 24 caries.
  • Dental Fillings: Patients reported a mean of 3.6 fillings (SD = 8.8), with a range of 0 to 30 fillings.
  • Tooth Extractions: Mean of 0.7 extractions per patient (SD = 0.8), with a range of 0 to 2 extractions.
  • Root Canal Treatments: Mean of 0.8 per patient (SD = 1.1), with a range of 0 to 3 treatments.
  • Cracked Teeth: Mean of 2.4 per patient (SD = 1.6), with a range of 0 to 5 teeth.
  • Summated Xerostomia Inventory Score: Mean score of 8.5 (SD = 1.9), indicating dry mouth, with a range of 6 to 11.

Additional Findings of the Suboxone Oral Health Study

  • Salivary Buffering Capacity: 54.5% of patients had low buffering capacity, 36.4% had moderate capacity, and 9.1% had high capacity. This is significant since saliva plays a crucial role in preventing dental caries by neutralizing acids.
  • Toothache Pain: At the time of assessment, 54.5% of the subjects reported having toothache pain, highlighting the immediate impact on their quality of life.

The study provides compelling evidence linking Suboxone treatment with significant dental health issues.

The prolonged contact between tooth surfaces and the acidic buprenorphine/naloxone solution, along with reduced saliva production, contributes to these adverse effects.

FDA Reports of Suboxone's Impact on Oral Health

Suboxone is a medication commonly used to treat opioid use disorder.

While it is effective in managing withdrawal symptoms, it can negatively impact oral health.

The dental health issues associated with Suboxone primarily stem from the way the medication is administered, often dissolved in the mouth.

The FDA has issued warnings regarding Suboxone’s impact on oral health, specifically highlighting the potential for serious dental problems.

These warnings underscore several key findings and the severity of the issues associated with the use of buprenorphine-containing medicines dissolved in the mouth.

FDA’s Findings on Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects

The FDA’s drug safety communication identified a number of oral health side effects related to Suboxone.

Notable issues included:

  • Tooth Decay: Suboxone can lead to reduced saliva production, increasing the risk of tooth decay. In a study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, patients reported a mean of 5.2 dental caries after starting buprenorphine treatment.
  • Gum Disease: Patients reported higher incidents of gum disease, likely linked to the conditions fostering tooth decay. In the same study, 54.5% of patients were currently experiencing tooth pain.
  • Oral Infections: The risk of infections in the mouth also rose among those using buprenorphine medicines.
  • Enamel Erosion: Prolonged exposure to the dissolved medicine in the mouth contributes to enamel erosion.

Regular dental check-ups and maintaining proper oral hygiene can help mitigate these side effects.

Patients using Suboxone should be aware of these risks and take preventive measures.

Severity of Reported Suboxone Oral Health Problems

The severity of these oral health problems was significant enough for the FDA to mandate new warnings in the prescribing information of Suboxone.

The issues ranged from mild discomforts to serious dental problems requiring professional intervention.

Key reported oral health problems include:

  • Severe Tooth Decay: This leads to significant dental treatments or even tooth extractions. Patients in the study reported a mean of 0.7 tooth extractions and 0.8 root canal treatments.
  • Intense Gum Disease: Required extensive periodontal treatments.
  • Painful Oral Infections: Necessitated the use of antibiotics or other medical treatments.

Affected individuals often experienced persistent discomfort and had to undergo costly and complex dental procedures.

The FDA warns about dental problems with buprenorphine medicines dissolved in the mouth to treat opioid use disorder and pain.

It serves as a critical alert for both patients and healthcare professionals to the adverse effects linked to Suboxone’s use.

Dental Problems Associated with Suboxone Treatment

Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder, is linked with several dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease.

These issues often arise due to the medication’s impact on saliva production and overall oral environment.

Tooth Decay and Cavities from Suboxone Use

One of the significant dental issues associated with Suboxone is tooth decay and cavities.

Suboxone can reduce saliva production, leading to a dry mouth condition called xerostomia.

Saliva is vital for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles, and its reduction can increase the risk of dental caries.

Key points to consider include:

  • Xerostomia (Dry Mouth): Reduced saliva flow creates an environment where oral bacteria can thrive, leading to increased tooth decay. The mean Summated Xerostomia Inventory score among patients was 8.5.
  • Increased Acid Exposure: Without saliva to neutralize acids, teeth are more susceptible to acid attacks from food and drink.
  • Plaque Accumulation: Dry mouth conditions can increase plaque buildup, contributing to the development of cavities.

Gum Disease Risks with Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects

Suboxone use can also increase the risk of gum disease.

The same reduction in saliva that causes tooth decay can affect the health of the gums.

Without adequate saliva, the gums can become more prone to infection and inflammation.

Important considerations include:

  • Inflammation: A dry mouth can lead to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease characterized by red, swollen gums.
  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe gum infection that can damage the bone supporting the teeth.
  • Oral Hygiene: Good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, are essential to combat gum disease.

Dry Mouth: A Prevalent Suboxone Oral Health Side Effect

Dry mouth is a common side effect of taking Suboxone, primarily due to the way it is administered and its effect on saliva production.

Understanding the implications and management of dry mouth is essential for patients undergoing Suboxone treatment to mitigate associated oral health issues.

How Suboxone Causes Dry Mouth and Its Consequences

Suboxone is often administered as sublingual buprenorphine, meaning it dissolves under the tongue.

This method of administration can significantly reduce saliva production, leading to dry mouth or xerostomia.

Reduced saliva can have several negative effects:

  • Increased Risk of Cavities: Saliva helps to neutralize acids and wash away food particles.
  • Oral Infections: A dry mouth can create an environment where bacteria can thrive, leading to infections.
  • Tooth Decay: Saliva plays a role in remineralizing the enamel.
  • Difficulty in Chewing and Swallowing: Saliva is a lubricant in the mouth.
  • Bad Breath: Lack of saliva can lead to bacteria buildup, causing halitosis.

Managing Dry Mouth Caused by Suboxone Treatment

Managing dry mouth involves several strategies to improve comfort and reduce the risks to dental health.

Patients should consider:

  • Regular Hydration: Drinking water frequently helps keep the mouth moist.
  • Sugar-Free Gum or Lozenges: These stimulate saliva production.
  • Humidifiers at Night: Adding moisture to the air can help keep the mouth from drying out.
  • Avoiding Alcohol and Caffeine: Both can exacerbate dry mouth.
  • Professional Dental Treatment: Regular visits to a dentist for cleaning and monitoring can prevent complications.
  • Saliva Substitutes or Stimulants: Over-the-counter products can provide temporary relief.

Oral Infections Linked to Suboxone: Oral Health Side Effects

Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, can lead to oral health issues, including various infections.

These infections can arise due to changes in the oral microbiome and poor dental care habits among users.

Types of Oral Infections Reported with Suboxone Use

Patients using Suboxone have reported several types of oral infections.

These infections include:

  • Tooth Decay and Cavities: The medication’s sugars and acidity can promote bacterial growth, leading to decay.
  • Oral Infections: These can develop from bacteria in the mouth due to reduced salivary flow, which is common with Suboxone.
  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums, often a precursor to more severe periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal Disease: Advanced gum disease can lead to tooth loss if untreated.

Preventing and Treating Suboxone-Related Oral Infections

Preventative measures and treatments are vital for managing oral health issues associated with Suboxone.

Key strategies include:

  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Informing the dentist about Suboxone use can help tailor dental care to prevent infections.
  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly reduce plaque and bacteria.
  • Hydration: Drinking water frequently to counteract dry mouth and maintain saliva production.
  • Patient Education: Understanding the importance of oral health and the potential side effects of Suboxone can encourage proactive care.
  • Topical Fluoride Treatments: Protecting teeth from decay.

Long-Term Oral Health Impacts of Suboxone Treatment

Extended use of Suboxone, especially in a sublingual form, can lead to significant dental health issues.

This section breaks down two key areas: chronic oral health problems from long-term Suboxone use and the need for vigilant oral health monitoring during Suboxone therapy.

Chronic Oral Health Issues from Extended Suboxone Use

Suboxone, especially when taken sublingually, contributes to various oral health problems.

Chronic exposure to buprenorphine-naloxone can result in:

  • Tooth Decay: The medication’s ingredients can create a conducive environment for bacterial growth.
  • Tooth Loss: Ongoing dental neglect or a lack of proper oral hygiene habits exacerbated by extended medication use.
  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums and more severe periodontal diseases.
  • Enamel Erosion: Sublingual buprenorphine-naloxone exposure can lead to tooth enamel erosion.
  • Dry Mouth: The medication can also cause a reduction in saliva production, leading to a dry mouth situation.

Importance of Monitoring Oral Health During Suboxone Therapy

Maintaining dental health is critical for individuals undergoing Suboxone treatment.

Effective monitoring includes:

  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: To identify and treat dental problems early.
  • Enhanced Oral Hygiene: Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly.
  • Use of Fluoride Mouthwashes: To strengthen tooth enamel and protect against decay.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Reducing sugar intake to minimize the risk of oral degradation.
  • Staying Hydrated: To counter dry mouth and promote healthy saliva production.

Strategies for Minimizing Suboxone Oral Health Side Effects

Minimizing the oral health side effects of Suboxone sublingual film requires focused dental hygiene practices and deliberate lifestyle changes.

These strategies aim to reduce the risk of extensive tooth decay, dental disease, and other oral health issues.

Dental Hygiene Practices to Combat Suboxone Side Effects

Good dental hygiene is essential to prevent dental risks and adverse events linked to the use of Suboxone.

Key practices include:

  • Brush Teeth Twice Daily: Using fluoride toothpaste can help protect teeth from decay. Brush for at least two minutes each time.
  • Floss Daily: This removes plaque and food particles between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Use Mouthwash: An antiseptic or fluoride mouthwash can kill bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum: This helps stimulate saliva production, neutralize acids and wash away food particles.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Seeing a dentist every six months ensures early detection and treatment of issues.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Suboxone Oral Health Risks

Lifestyle modifications can significantly impact oral health while undergoing addiction treatment with Suboxone.

Effective lifestyle changes include:

  • Hydrate Frequently: Drinking water daily can help maintain saliva flow and reduce dry mouth symptoms.
  • Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks: Reducing the intake of sugars can decrease the potential for extensive tooth decay.
  • Avoid Tobacco Products: Smoking and chewing tobacco can exacerbate dental disease and other complications.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals supports oral health.
  • Consult Healthcare Providers: Regular discussions with healthcare providers about oral health can identify potential risks early.

Working with Dentists to Manage Suboxone Oral Health Concerns

Effective collaboration between healthcare providers and dental professionals is essential to mitigate the oral health risks of Suboxone tablets and transmucosal buprenorphine products.

Informing Dentists About Suboxone Treatment and Oral Health

Healthcare professionals prescribing Suboxone should inform dental providers about the patient’s medication regimen to prepare for potential oral health issues.

Key points to discuss include:

  • The FDA Warning: About dental problems such as tooth decay, cavities, and oral infections linked to Suboxone.
  • Monitoring Oral Health: Even in patients without prior dental issues.
  • Frequent Oral Examinations: To catch early signs of dental problems.
  • Recommended Preventive Measures: Like increased fluoride treatments.
  • Managing Xerostomia (Dry Mouth): This can heighten the risk of oral health deterioration.

Dental professionals must understand these aspects to provide tailored care and early interventions.

Collaborative Care for Suboxone Patients’ Oral Well-being

A collaborative approach between doctors and dentists can significantly enhance the oral and overall health of Suboxone patients.

Key collaborative actions include:

  • Establishing a Liaison: Between prescribing doctors and dentists to discuss patient histories and potential oral health side effects.
  • Scheduling Regular Dental Visits: To ensure continued oral healthcare.
  • Coordinating the Management of Dry Mouth: With saliva substitutes and other products.
  • Implementing Personalized Oral Hygiene Plans: Including brushing techniques and therapeutic mouthwashes.
  • Educating Patients: About the importance of maintaining oral hygiene to prevent complications.
  • Encouraging Patients to Report: Any noticeable oral discomfort or dental issues promptly.

Weighing Benefits and Risks of Suboxone for Oral Health

Suboxone is a key player in opioid addiction treatment, but it poses unique oral health challenges.

This section explores how to balance its effectiveness with potential dental side effects and provides guidance for informed decisions.

Balancing Suboxone’s Efficacy with Potential Oral Side Effects

Suboxone is widely used in the fight against the opioid epidemic, playing a significant role in improving patient survival rates.

With its efficacy in treating opioid use disorder, the benefits of Suboxone are notable.

However, Suboxone can cause dental issues.

These problems include:

  • Tooth Decay: From lower salivary pH.
  • Enamel Loss: Due to increased acidity.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: From erosion.
  • Cavities: Due to reduced saliva production.
  • Gum Disease: Linked to the proliferation of oral bacteria.

Despite these risks, the medicine outweighs its side effects for many patients in substance abuse recovery.

Making Informed Decisions About Suboxone and Oral Health

Informed decisions require comprehensive prescribing treatment information and patient education on Suboxone’s side effects.

Patients should:

  • Maintain Regular Dental Check-Ups: To monitor oral health.
  • Follow Good Oral Hygiene Practices: Such as brushing and flossing.
  • Use Saliva Substitutes or Rinse: To counteract dry mouth.
  • Avoid Acidic Foods and Beverages: That exacerbate dental erosion.
  • Consult a Dentist: For personalized advice and preventive treatments.

When evaluating treatment options, it’s vital to weigh these potential oral health problems.

A thorough oral health history is essential for understanding a patient’s dental condition.

The caries risk assessment helps identify high-risk individuals for dental caries, enabling preventive strategies.

The opioid overdose epidemic requires dentists to follow Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines to safely prescribe pain medications.

A well-structured dental caries preventive plan includes regular check-ups, fluoride treatments, and patient education.

The baseline dental evaluation serves as a starting point for monitoring oral health and managing emerging issues, ensuring comprehensive long-term care.

TruLawsuit Info: Maximizing Your Suboxone Settlement Amount

Understanding how to maximize your Suboxone settlement is essential for those affected by dental problems and other negative effects of transmucosal buprenorphine medicine.

Victims can take several practical steps to increase their compensation.

Evaluating Your Unique Situation and Legal Options

Every individual’s experience with Suboxone can vary significantly, so examining your situation thoroughly is crucial.

Filing a well-documented claim requires recording specific instances of dental problems with buprenorphine, such as:

  • Tooth Fractures: Due to prolonged use.
  • Cases of Tooth Extraction: Linked to Suboxone.
  • Reports from Health Professionals: Detailing chronic pain and damage.
  • Noting Additional Pain Management Treatments Needed: Including antibiotics for infections and pain medications for toothaches.

Individuals should also consider all legal options available, including joining class action lawsuits or pursuing individual claims.

Both have pros and cons and understanding these can help ensure the most favorable outcome.

Consulting with a Knowledgeable Suboxone Lawsuit Attorney

Expert legal advice is invaluable for anyone seeking a Suboxone settlement.

Engaging with an attorney who specializes in pharmaceutical lawsuits ensures that all aspects of your use disorder and pain are considered properly.

Important factors include:

  • Extent of Tooth Damages: Such as the number of caries, fillings, and extractions reported.
  • Documentation of Problems with Buprenorphine Medicines: These include reduced saliva production and increased risk of dental caries.
  • Comprehensive Records of Taking Buprenorphine and Suboxone: Including dosage and frequency.
  • Evidence Supporting Adverse Health Effects Caused by Suboxone: Including dental problems like enamel erosion and tooth decay.

An experienced attorney will guide victims through detailed claim preparation, negotiations, and settlement processes, significantly improving their chances of a successful outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the main oral health side effects of Suboxone?

    The main oral health side effects of Suboxone include tooth decay, cavities, oral infections, gum disease, and reduced saliva production.

    These issues primarily stem from the way the medication is administered, often dissolved in the mouth for prolonged periods.

  • How severe are the dental problems associated with Suboxone use?

    The dental problems associated with Suboxone use can range from mild discomfort to severe issues requiring extensive treatment.

    In some cases, patients have experienced severe tooth decay leading to extractions, intense gum disease requiring periodontal treatments, and painful oral infections necessitating antibiotics.

  • What steps can Suboxone patients take to minimize oral health side effects?

    Suboxone patients can minimize oral health side effects by maintaining good dental hygiene practices, such as brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using mouthwash.

    Additionally, making lifestyle changes like staying hydrated, limiting sugary foods and drinks, and avoiding tobacco products can help reduce the risk of dental complications.

  • Why is it important for Suboxone patients to inform their dentists about their treatment?

    Suboxone patients must inform their dentists about their treatment so that dental professionals can provide tailored care and early interventions to address potential oral health issues.

    Dentists need to understand the FDA warning about dental problems linked to Suboxone and monitor patients’ oral health closely, even if they have no prior dental issues.

  • How can individuals affected by Suboxone's dental side effects maximize their settlement amounts?

    To maximize Suboxone settlement amounts, affected individuals should thoroughly evaluate their unique situation, document specific instances of dental problems linked to the medication, and consider all available legal options.

    Consulting with a knowledgeable Suboxone lawsuit attorney who specializes in pharmaceutical cases can significantly improve the chances of a successful outcome and ensure fair compensation for damages.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

Do You
Have A Case?

Here, at Tru Lawsuit Info, we’re committed to helping victims get the justice they deserve.

To do this, we actively work to connect them with attorneys who are experts in litigating cases similar to theirs.

Would you like our help?

About Tru Lawsuit Info

Tru Lawsuit Info is a reliable source of information about issues that may affect your health and safety, such as faulty products, data breaches, and environmental hazards.

Our team of experienced writers collaborates with medical professionals, lawyers, and advocates to produce informative articles, guides, and other resources that raise awareness of these topics.

Our thorough research provides consumers with access to reliable information and updates on lawsuits happening around the country. We also can connect consumers with attorneys if they need assistance.

Recent Posts
Do You
Have A Case?

Here, at Tru Lawsuit Info, we’re committed to helping victims get the justice they deserve.

To do this, we actively work to connect them with attorneys who are experts in litigating cases similar to theirs.

Would you like our help?