Does Aspirin Cause Tooth Erosion?

16 March 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you take aspirin regularly, the drug may well help you control specific illnesses and conditions. However, like any medication, aspirin may come with side effects. In some cases, aspirin may cause tooth problems such as dental erosion. Typically, you can manage this side effect by putting some thought into how you take your tablets.

How Does Aspirin Affect the Teeth?

According to the Better Health Channel, aspirin may cause problems with your teeth because it is acidic. If the acid from tablets gets on to your teeth, it may attack their surface enamel. If this happens repeatedly over time, you may find that your teeth start to lose their enamel through an erosion process, making them more sensitive and, ultimately, possibly causing damage that needs dental treatment.

The Way You Take Tablets Matters

Dental erosion doesn't have to be a problem for every long-term aspirin user. The way you take your tablets directly affects the impact they may have on your teeth. 

The safest way to take an aspirin tablet is to swallow it whole with water so that the tablet doesn't touch your teeth. This means that the tablet's acidic content is kept away from your teeth, preventing it from damaging them.

Warning: Some people who use aspirin regularly over a long period of time may start to suffer from heartburn, reflux or vomiting problems, according to myDr. Even if you swallow tablets whole, these side effects may bring more acid into your mouth, possibly causing erosion problems. If you have these side effects, talk to your doctor about ways to combat them.

You are most likely to have problems with dental erosion if you chew or suck aspirin tablets regularly. When you take a tablet this way, you break it up and put its acidity in direct contact with your teeth. This may lead to problems down the line if you take aspirin regularly.

Taking soluble aspirin in water may not be as bad as chewing or sucking tablets; however, this does have downsides that may also damage your teeth. For example, soluble tablets often contain citric acid to help make them dissolve and fizz. This acid may also cause dental erosion if your teeth are exposed to it regularly.

What If You Can't Swallow Tablets?

Some people find it physically impossible to swallow tablets. If you have this kind of difficulty, you may have no option but to use chewable, suckable or soluble medications. You may be able to minimise the effects of the tablets by trying the following tips:

  • Rinse your mouth out with water after taking a tablet to wash away some of the acid.
  • Take a quick drink of milk or a small bite of cheese after taking an aspirin. Dairy products can help neutralise acids in the mouth.
  • Take your tablets with meals if possible to reduce the number of times your mouth has to deal with acid attacks during the day.