Suboxone is a medication used to treat dependence on opioid narcotics by reducing withdrawal symptoms. It is administered as a tablet or film that dissolves in the mouth. Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that the medication was linked to several oral health issues, like cavities, oral infections, and injuries. In this blog post, you will learn more about Suboxone and what steps you should take to reduce your risk of dental problems. Patients nationwide are filing lawsuits against Indivior, the manufacturer, for compensation, and here is what you should know.

Introducing Suboxone

Suboxone is a medication prescribed along with mental and behavioral health techniques to patients recovering from opioid addiction. It combines buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine has a binding affinity for opioid receptors in your brain, permitting it to bond to the receptors. That way, it reduces withdrawal symptoms and prevents any other opioid from using their impact.

On the contrary, naloxone prevents potential abuse and misuse. If you misuse or inject your medication, the naloxone ingredient will hinder the buprenorphine opioid’s effect and precipitate symptoms.

Suboxone sublingual tablets and films are tailored to release ingredients directly into your bloodstream via the mouth’s mucous membranes (area beneath your tongue). Typically, the drug is administered in the forms below:

  • Tablet — Placed under your tongue and permitted to dissolve without swallowing or chewing.
  • Film — Patients place the thin strip under the tongue for ten minutes to maximize absorption.

Does Suboxone Result In Dental Issues?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that patients taking sublingual medications with buprenorphine, like suboxone, have dental issues.

Some oral health issues start manifesting soon after patients start using the drug. Patients feel their teeth are loose and sore. In other instances, patients do not discover they have oral issues until their dental appointment.

Tooth Decay

Suboxone film is acidic, and when you place it under your tongue to dissolve, it introduces acidity to your mouth. Your enamel (the tooth’s outer tooth layer) is susceptible to acids, and prolonged exposure can erode the enamel. Once your enamel is thinned or compromised, the dentin (second tooth layer) is exposed, making your teeth more susceptible to decay.

Dry Mouth

Buprenorphine has anticholinergic properties and suppresses acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates saliva production. Once Suboxone reduces the activity, you are more likely to suffer from a dry mouth.

Additionally, the buprenorphine effect on your central nervous system can alter the functioning of numerous bodily systems, like reduced saliva production. It can lead to a dry mouth.

A dry mouth could increase your vulnerability to dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay. Saliva is crucial for dental health, washing out food debris, neutralizing dangerous acids, and assisting digestion.

Other dental issues related to the use of Suboxone film include the following:

  • Cavities.
  • Gum disease.
  • Oral infections.
  • Tooth fractures.
  • Tooth loss.
  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Tooth abscess.
  • Tongue injuries.
  • Gum injuries.
  • Tooth injuries.
  • Chewing challenges.

Most of these dental issues require expensive and extensive dental work, including the following:

  • Implants.
  • Root canal.
  • Surgery.
  • Tooth extraction.
  • Crowns.
  • Dental fillings.
  • Dental veneers.

How to Lower Your Risk of Dental Issues While Taking Suboxone

The FDA reported that the advantages of suboxone outweighed the risks. That means you can use the medication and safeguard your dental health. Here are some tips to lower your vulnerability to dental issues.

Follow Your Doctor's Instructions for Taking Your Drug

Continue taking the medication as prescribed. Do not stop using it suddenly without consulting your doctor. It can result in you being sick with withdrawal symptoms because the body is used to the medication or even a relapse to opioid abuse, which could cause an overdose or death.

Inquire from your doctor about the best technique to take the drugs and dosage. If you should take several strips in every dose, consider doing it all simultaneously to lower the acid exposure.

Wait Before Brushing Your Teeth

The acidity in buprenorphine softens tooth enamel, making it susceptible to abrasive brushing and toothpaste. Wait for more than an hour after taking the medication to brush. It reduces the risk of your enamel wearing out when brushing.

Rinse Your Mouth

After the strips have dissolved, rinse your mouth with water. Rinsing your mouth removes the remaining medication.

Consult Your Dentist

It would be wise to notify your dental health provider that you are using Suboxone, visit your dentist regularly, and call them immediately once you discover an oral health issue.

If you require dental treatment while on medication, your dentist should create a pain management plan for following the treatment. The treatment plan will depend on your dental procedure, the seriousness of your pain, and the recovery duration.

Why Patients Are Filing a Lawsuit

As opioid misuse continued to increase across America in the 2000s, Indivior strived to lengthen the marketing rights of the Suboxone drug that was expiring in 2009. Consequently, Indivior developed a film with the same ingredients to increase its exclusive entitlement to market its medication. The strategic move is called evergreening or product hopping.

After the FDA approved the film, the manufacturer discontinued the tablet version, arguing the tablet posed child safety threats. Nevertheless, the lawsuits say that the company acted to align with its business goals to delay all generic competition.

Until 2022, Indivior had not issued a warning about dental damage. That was until the Food and Drug Administration warned that buprenorphine films that are administered orally cause severe dental problems.

Currently, Suboxone patients are filing lawsuits against the manufacturer, claiming the company was aware or should have been aware that the medication increased the risk of dental issues. A pharmaceutical manufacturer should test their product to ensure it is safe and warn potential consumers of the side effects.

Joining Suboxone Lawsuit

There is no mass tort or class action, and attorneys accept cases. To determine your eligibility for compensation, please consult a lawyer for a case review. You qualify if:

  • Your physician prescribed Suboxone to manage opioid-related pain and addiction.
  • You used the medication for at least six months.
  • You suffered a dental injury as a result.
  • You have visited your dentist before using the medication.

If successful, you could recover damages like medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and lost earning capacity. You could also receive punitive damages if the defendant was malicious. Your compensation award will depend on the degree and nature of your dental issues.

Find Knowledgeable Legal Representation Near Me

Suboxone should treat opioid use disorder (OUD), but it causes patients severe oral health problems that require costly and painful dental work. Consumer Alert Now is taking legal action against the defendant in search of financial compensation for victims. We are accepting cases from victims across the nation who have been taking the film for OUD for more than six months and have suffered from dental damage. Our legal team will handle your legal process so you can pay attention to your medical treatment and recovery. We can collect the relevant evidence and medical records, file your case, represent you before the judge, and negotiate with the defendant for fair compensation. Please call us at 800-511-0747 for your case review to learn whether you qualify for the lawsuit and how our lawyers can help you.