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Corticosteroid (Dental route)

Uses of This Medicine:

Dental corticosteroids are used to relieve the discomfort and redness of some mouth and gum problems. These medicines are like cortisone. They belong to the general family of medicines called steroids.

Dental corticosteroids are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Children and teenagers who must use this medicine should be checked often by their doctor. Dental corticosteroids may be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and, if used too often or for too long a time, may interfere with growth in children. Before using this medicine in children, you should discuss its use with your child's medical doctor or dentist.

Older adults—

Although there is no specific information comparing use of dental corticosteroids in the elderly with use in other age groups, these medicines are not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than they do in younger adults.

Pregnancy—

When used properly, these medicines have not been shown to cause problems in humans. Studies on birth defects with dental corticosteroids have not been done in humans. However, studies in animals have shown that topical corticosteroids, such as the hydrocortisone or triamcinolone in this medicine, when applied to the skin in large amounts or used for a long time, could cause birth defects. Studies with dental paste have not been done in animals.

Breast-feeding—

When used properly, dental corticosteroids have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus—Too much use of corticosteroids may cause a loss of control of diabetes by increasing blood and urine glucose. However, this is not likely to happen when dental corticosteroids are used for a short period of time.
  • Herpes sores or
  • Infection or sores of the mouth or throat or
  • Tuberculosis—Corticosteroids may make existing infections worse or cause new infections.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

To use hydrocortisone or triamcinolone dental paste:

  • Using a cotton swab, press (do not rub) a small amount of paste onto the area to be treated until the paste sticks and a smooth, slippery film forms. Do not try to spread the medicine because it will become crumbly and gritty.
  • Apply the paste at bedtime so the medicine can work overnight. The other applications of the paste should be made following meals.

Do not use corticosteroids more often or for a longer time than your medical doctor or dentist ordered. To do so may increase the chance of absorption through the lining of the mouth and the chance of side effects.

Do not use corticosteroids more often or for a longer time than your medical doctor or dentist ordered. To do so may increase the chance of absorption through the lining of the mouth and the chance of side effects.

Do not use this medicine for other mouth problems without first checking with your medical doctor or dentist. This medicine should not be used on many kinds of bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.

Dosing—

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For mouth and/or gum problems:
    • Adults—Apply to the affected area two or three times a day, after meals and at bedtime.
    • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor or dentist
  • For mouth and/or gum problems:
    • Adults—Apply to the affected area two or three times a day, after meals and at bedtime.
    • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor or dentist

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Check with your medical doctor or dentist:

  • if your symptoms do not improve within 1 week.
  • if your condition gets worse.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Signs of infection or irritation such as burning, itching, blistering, or peeling not present before use of this medicine

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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