Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit

Suboxone, a medication prescribed to individuals struggling with opioid addiction, has been linked to severe tooth decay and other dental injuries in users. The sublingual film version (a thin, dissolvable strip placed under the tongue) of Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which is highly acidic and causes the degradation of tooth enamel. 

As a result, many Suboxone users have experienced significant dental problems, leading to a rise in lawsuits against Indivior, the drug's manufacturer. Seeking the expertise of a Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit Attorney can help victims file a claim and pursue compensation for their dental damage.

These lawsuits allege that Indivior failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the potential dental risks of Suboxone use and that the company prioritized profits over patient safety.

Allegations Against Indivior: What You Need to Know

The Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits allege that Indivior knew about the potential risks of dental problems associated with using their sublingual film product but failed to warn patients and doctors adequately. 

Plaintiffs argue that Indivior's actions demonstrate a disregard for patient safety and prioritization of financial gains over the well-being of those using their products to overcome opioid addiction.

Who is Eligible for the Lawsuit?

Patients who used Suboxone before 2022, when the labeling did not warn of tooth decay, may be eligible to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for their:

  • Dental expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages 
  • And other damages 

The lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) under Judge Philip Calabrese in the Northern District of Ohio. To be eligible, patients must have:

  • Used Suboxone for at least six months before 2022, 
  • Suffered from significant dental problems that were not present before taking the medication
  • Have had routine dental care before starting Suboxone treatment.

How Suboxone Works

Suboxone is a combination drug that contains two main ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that works by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings without delivering the same potency as full opioids like heroin or oxycodone. 

By attaching to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids, buprenorphine can help alleviate the physical and psychological effects of opioid addiction while minimizing the risk of overdose.

Naloxone, the second ingredient in Suboxone, is an opioid antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects of opioids if the drug is abused by injection. When Suboxone is taken as prescribed, sublingually, the naloxone component remains largely inactive. However, if an individual attempts to inject Suboxone, the naloxone becomes active and can cause immediate withdrawal symptoms, deterring further abuse.

While Suboxone has proven to be an effective tool in the fight against opioid addiction, the sublingual film form of the drug has a pH of 3.4, which is highly acidic and can lower the mouth's natural pH, leading to enamel erosion and tooth decay. This acidity, combined with the prolonged contact time between the film and the teeth, has been identified as a primary cause of the dental problems experienced by many Suboxone users.

Evidence Linking Suboxone to Dental Problems

There is a growing body of evidence linking Suboxone use, particularly the sublingual film form, to an increased risk of dental problems. This evidence includes patient reports, studies highlighting the drug's acidic nature, and the known side effect of dry mouth, which reduces saliva production and increases the risk of tooth decay.

Numerous Suboxone users have come forward with accounts of severe tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues that they claim are directly related to their use of the medication. These patient reports have been instrumental in drawing attention to the potential dental risks associated with Suboxone and have prompted further investigation into the link between the drug and oral health problems.

Additionally, dry mouth is a well-documented side effect of Suboxone use. Saliva is crucial in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, remineralizing tooth enamel, and washing away food particles and bacteria. When saliva production is reduced, as is often the case with Suboxone users, tooth decay and gum disease risk increases significantly.

Building a strong Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit requires gathering a substantial body of evidence to support the claim that the medication caused the patient's dental problems. This evidence may include:

1. Suboxone prescriptions: Patients should provide records of their Suboxone prescriptions, including the dates of use, dosage, and duration of treatment. This information helps establish a timeline for the patient's medication use and can be cross-referenced with the onset and progression of their dental issues.

2. Dental records: Patients should obtain copies of their dental records, including x-rays, treatment plans, and progress notes, before and after their Suboxone use. These records can provide a clear picture of the patient's oral health history and demonstrate how their dental condition has deteriorated since starting the medication.

3. Doctor's notes: If the patient has discussed their dental problems with their primary care physician or addiction specialist, any notes or records from these conversations can help support their case. These notes may include references to the patient's Suboxone use, their dental complaints, and any recommendations for treatment.

4. Photographs: Visual evidence of the patient's dental problems can be highly compelling in a lawsuit. Patients should take clear, dated photographs of their teeth and gums to document the extent of their dental issues and how they have progressed over time.

5. Receipts for dental expenses: Patients should keep detailed records of all expenses related to their dental treatment, including the cost of procedures, medications, and any necessary travel. These receipts can help demonstrate the financial burden the patient has incurred as a result of their Suboxone-related dental problems.

6. Journal entries: Keeping a personal journal that documents the patient's experiences with Suboxone and their dental problems can provide valuable insight into the medication's impact on their life. Patients should record any symptoms, pain, or difficulties they have experienced and how their dental issues have affected their daily activities and overall well-being.

Compensation in a Suboxone Lawsuit 

Patients who have suffered dental problems as a result of Suboxone use may be entitled to various forms of compensation, known as damages, through a lawsuit against Indivior. These damages can include:

1. Medical expenses: Patients may be able to recover the cost of all dental treatments related to their Suboxone-induced tooth decay, including fillings, root canals, extractions, implants, and any other necessary procedures. These expenses can also include the cost of pain medications, dental appliances, and follow-up visits.

2. Pain and suffering: Dental problems can cause significant physical pain and emotional distress, which may be compensable in a Suboxone lawsuit. Patients may be able to receive compensation for the discomfort, anxiety, and reduced quality of life they have experienced as a result of their dental issues.

3. Lost wages: If the patient's dental problems have caused them to miss work or have resulted in a loss of income, they may be able to recover these losses through a lawsuit. This can include both past and future lost wages, as well as any potential impact on the patient's earning capacity.

4. Future medical costs: In some cases, patients may require ongoing dental treatment due to Suboxone-related tooth decay. A lawsuit may provide compensation for the estimated cost of these future treatments, ensuring that the patient can continue to receive the care they need.

5. Punitive damages: In rare instances where the manufacturer's actions are found to be particularly egregious or reckless, the court may award punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the company for its misconduct and deter similar behavior in the future.

The specific types and amounts of damages available in a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit will depend on the circumstances of each case. An experienced attorney can help patients understand the potential value of their claim and fight for the maximum compensation possible.

Oral Hygiene and Early Signs of Tooth Decay

Patients taking Suboxone must be proactive in maintaining good oral hygiene and monitoring for early signs of tooth decay. By protecting their dental health and seeking prompt treatment when issues arise, patients can help minimize the impact of Suboxone on their teeth and gums. Key strategies for maintaining oral health while using Suboxone include:

1. Brushing thoroughly twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. This helps remove plaque and bacteria contributing to tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Flossing daily to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth and along the gum line, where a toothbrush may not reach.

3. Increasing water intake to combat dry mouth, a common side effect of Suboxone that can increase the risk of tooth decay. Drinking water throughout the day can help stimulate saliva production and keep the mouth hydrated.

4. Limiting consumption of acidic drinks and sugary foods, which can further erode tooth enamel and contribute to decay. Patients should be mindful of their diet and choose tooth-friendly snacks and beverages.

5. Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. This allows for early detection and treatment of any dental problems and allows patients to discuss their Suboxone use with their dentist.

6. Rinsing the mouth thoroughly after taking Suboxone films. This helps remove any residual medication from the teeth and gums, reducing the amount of time the acidic substance is in contact with the enamel.

Patients should also be aware of the early signs of tooth decay to seek prompt treatment and prevent further damage. These signs include:

1. Increased tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages

2. Visible discoloration or dark spots on the teeth

3. Pain or discomfort when biting or chewing

4. Visible holes or pits in the teeth

5. Persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth

If patients experience these symptoms, they should schedule an appointment with their dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Dolman Law Group's Involvement

At Dolman Law Group, we are actively representing individuals who have suffered dental injuries related to Suboxone use. Our firm accepts cases from states with a three-year or longer statute of limitations, ensuring that patients in these jurisdictions can seek compensation for their damages.

With extensive experience in pharmaceutical litigation, we have a proven track record of taking on large drug manufacturers and holding them accountable for the harm caused by their products. 

Our attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to take on the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit and fight for our clients' rights.

If you believe you may have a valid Suboxone tooth decay claim, we encourage you to contact Dolman Law Group for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will review the details of your case and provide guidance on the best course of action for pursuing compensation.

Find Out if You’re Eligible for a Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit

The Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit is a stark reminder of the importance of thoroughly testing medications and providing adequate warnings about potential side effects. As the litigation progresses, more patients will likely come forward with their own stories of dental problems related to Suboxone use, adding to the growing body of evidence against Indivior.

If you have suffered dental issues after using Suboxone, speaking with an attorney at our law firm can help you understand your legal options and pursue the compensation you need. By holding drug manufacturers accountable for their actions, lawsuits like the Suboxone tooth decay case can help ensure that patient safety remains a top priority in developing and marketing medications.

Matt Dolman, Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit Attorney
Matt Dolman, Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit Attorney

As the legal battle continues, it is crucial for patients and healthcare providers to stay informed about the latest developments in the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit and to prioritize open communication about the potential risks and benefits of this widely-used medication. Only through increased awareness, proactive oral hygiene, and a commitment to patient well-being can we hope to mitigate the impact of Suboxone-related dental problems and ensure that those struggling with opioid addiction receive the safe, effective care they need.