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Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits

If you've suffered tooth decay because of Suboxone films, Hach & Rose, LLP's defective medication lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to handle your claim and to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Last Updated: 06-13-2024

Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits in New York

Attorney Michael Rose edited and fact-checked this article. Michael is a licensed attorney who has been handling catastrophic injury cases and product liability claims for 25 years and has recovered over $300 million in compensation for victims of serious injury. Further, Michael is experienced in handling class action lawsuits and mass tort claims. His goal is to hold drug manufacturers responsible for negligent and reckless conduct. He has been involved in the Suboxone litigation since the outset of these claims.

Countless individuals have used Suboxone to overcome opioid addiction. Unfortunately, it appears the manufacturer of Suboxone (Indivior Inc.) did not disclose the potential risk of dental injuries such as severe tooth decay, broken teeth, gum disease, infections, and other side effects caused by buprenorphine medications dissolved in the mouth. This oversight is particularly concerning given the fact that Indivior’s patent on Suboxone tablets was expiring, and the sublingual films may have been rushed to market without due diligence, or worse, the risks were hidden to prevent a slowdown by the FDA.

New evidence shows that people who take Suboxone may have a higher risk of severe tooth decay and other dental problems. Now, Suboxone users nationwide are taking legal action to hold Indivior Inc. accountable for causing personal injuries, negligence, and a failure to warn.

The Suboxone tooth decay attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to protect your rights and help you recover fair compensation for your injuries.

In nearly 25 years in business, our defective product lawyers have recovered more than a billion dollars for our clients and earned numerous honors for their services. We can handle all the legal issues in your case while you focus on healing and other matters.

There’s no time to waste. Call (212) 779-0057 or complete our contact form for a free case review.

Table Of Contents

    Suboxone Lawsuit Updates

    Below you can find Suboxone lawsuit news and updates on the Suboxone MDL. As the judge, court, or parties make decisions, we will let you know with some extra perspective added in.

    June 11, 2024 – CMO #7 Creates Leadership Development Committee

    This week, Case Management Order No. 7 was issued in the Suboxone MDL. It introduced a Leadership Development Committee (LDC), which serves as a mentorship program for attorneys who want the skills and experience they will need to be able to accept leadership roles in future multidistrict litigation cases.

    Attorneys selected for the LDC will work on various projects related to the Suboxone case. In exchange for this experience, these attorneys are expected to offer their services at a reduced rate.

    Any attorneys interested in joining the LDC must apply by July 8, 2024.

    May 18, 2024 – Number of Suboxone Claims Filed into MDL Rises

    On May 13, the defense for Suboxone officially stated that they would not agree to a tolling agreement, which would have allowed the plaintiffs to file lawsuits after the statute of limitations while preserving their right to sue. The aim was to prevent injury attorneys from around the country from filing every lawsuit they had ASAP before they really had time to gather all the proper evidence. This would have saved the Court time and money, prevented the defense from having to try cases across the US in state courts, and would have allowed more Suboxone patients to get the help they need.
    However, Judge Calabrese took a play out of the Xarelto case and adopted a procedure to find a middle ground.
    The general cut-off date for the statute of limitations in states with a two-year limit is June 14, 2024. So, the Judge has ruled that by that date, June 14, the plaintiffs’ lawyers must file a master MDL list of all individual plaintiffs.
    Defendants will then have until July 1, 2024, to file a motion for severance which would remove the case from the MDL and allow them to amend their lawsuit in state courts while preserving the original filing dates which was before the statute of limitations.
    This will help lessen the burden on the court from a massive amount of cases being filed at once and will provide the plaintiffs with a structured process for overcoming the SOL problem. We will learn more at the next hearing.

    May 13, 2024 – Indivior Denies Tolling Agreement in Suboxone MDL

    We finally have an answer from Suboxone’s lawyers about why they will not acquiesce to the tolling agreement.
    Today, the defense lawyers for Suboxone filed an opposition brief countering the plaintiffs’ proposed tolling agreement. Their argument is simple: it’s not in their best interest. They rebutted the plaintiffs’ claim that without the agreement, personal injury lawyers would be forced to blind file to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring before they can properly investigate the claims they want to file. The brief admitted that gathering medical records, particularly from dentists, can take a long time, and that might cause lawsuits to be filed that do not have supporting evidence. However, Indivior wants the SOL to expire on as many cases as possible for obvious reasons.
    In the brief, they state, “Defendants would get no benefit other than purported proof of use of Suboxone film, untethered to causation and purported damages.”
    However, it was the plaintiffs’ stance that a tolling agreement would not only be fair to Indivior’s consumers, but it would also prevent Indivior from having to try cases all across the country, since every state as a different SOL.
    We admit that we did think Indivior would consent to the tolling agreement to avoid litigation across multiple jurisdictions. But, it is now clear that won’t be happening.
    This decision will push many, many more cases toward state courts rather than the consolidated federal MDL. What the Court decides or any steps it might take remains to be seen.

    May 2, 2024 – Discovery Order and Potential Tolling Agreement are the Focus in Suboxone Lawsuit MDL

    In the second status conference hearing for the Suboxone MDL, Judge Calabrese heard arguments from both sides about Indivior’s desire to focus on general causation, as we discussed in the previous update. However, the concept of a tolling agreement is also gaining attention in this case.
    A tolling agreement is a legal arrangement— which both parties have to agree to—that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations for the issue at hand in order to allow plaintiffs to add cases with consideration and to prevent a storm of cases from being thrown at the defense and the Court all at once. So far, Indivior has shown no interest in agreeing to a tolling agreement in the Suboxone MDL.

    April 21, 2024 – General Causation and Future Schedule

    This week, Judge Calabrese held the second status conference for the Suboxone MDL. Here are some of the things we learned about the current status of the lawsuit.
    Indivior’s legal team has been insistent on the need for a general causation phase of discovery. General causation is more or less what it sounds like, “in general, does Suboxone cause tooth decay?” It’s more or less the initial questions or basis of the lawsuit. Suboxone’s lawyers argue
    that proving general causation is crucial before moving on to address specific claims. This makes perfect sense; it would save resources, money, and time because if the plaintiffs can’t prove general causation, there is no reason to move forward with anything else.
    However, it’s our position and the position of the plaintiff steering committee, that general causation is not necessary because Indivior basically admitted already that Suboxone can generally cause tooth decay.
    Why do we think this? Well, we believe Indivior previously acknowledged potential dental risks associated with Suboxone when they updated their label. They would not have made this change and definitely would have contested the FDA’s decision if there was no data to support that Suboxone causes tooth decay. We will have to see if Judge Calabrese agrees.
    The plaintiff steering committee has proposed that the Court address both general and specific causation simultaneously. This would improve efficiency, reduce any redundancy, and ensure that each case receives appropriate attention. However, this will only happen if the Judge agrees that general causation has already been established.
    Judge Calabrese set a series of deadlines regarding the issue of general causation during the hearing. By April 23, 2024, both parties need to submit their arguments regarding whether Suboxone can generally cause harm, any follow-up documents are due by May 24, and any
    replies are expected by May 31. There is a status conference scheduled for June 6, 2024 during which the Judge plans to resolve this issue.
    The next interim status conference is scheduled for May 14, 2024, to discuss the potential suspension of statute of limitations deadlines through what is known as a tolling agreement.

    April 28, 2024 – Expiring Statute of Limitations – States Where We Are Accepting Cases

    We have received a lot of calls from people wondering how the statute of limitations in their state will affect their ability to file a Suboxone Lawsuit. Statute of limitations information can be confusing, and there is a lot of different information out there about who can file a suboxone lawsuit and who can’t.

    Exactly half of states in America have a two-year statute of limitations on product liability lawsuits.

    Since Indivior was forced by the FDA to add tooth decay and dental injury warnings to its label in January 2022, the statute of limitations ran out in January 2024 for any state with a 2-year filing limit.

    However, we are still taking Suboxone lawsuits from states with three-, four-, and five-year statutes of limitations. The states we are accepting claims for the Suboxone lawsuit include:

    • Arkansas
    • Florida
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • Montana
    • New Hampshire
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • Wisconsin
    • Wyoming

    March 28, 2024 – Potential Increase in Injury Severity Threshold

    The lawyers for the injured victims of Suboxone (the plaintiffs) have been discussing with the defense the need to potentially raise the bar for the severity of dental injuries required for a person to qualify for the Suboxone lawsuit. There are two main reasons that we have been considering upping the requirements for the severity of the dental injuries: From the plaintiff’s point of view, if the threshold is raised, it could greatly help us to win the lawsuit or get a significant settlement by only focusing on plaintiffs with severe dental problems that can be demonstrably linked to Suboxone. This would streamline the lawsuit by excluding less severe cases and prevent the defense from being able to claim that the plaintiffs are throwing any case they can at the MDL, which the court, the public, and attorneys, in general, are not fond of.

    From the defense’s point of view, this interest in upping the requirements for participating in the lawsuit could be a way to make it harder for some plaintiffs to participate and, therefore, decrease the number of people they may have to pay for their injuries. This is not news to us plaintiff attorneys, and we are weighing all possible sides of this issue to make sure that we make the best decision for the most people and for the people who need the help the most.

    March 12, 2024 – Suboxone Lawsuit Defendants File Disclosures

    Indivior, the manufacturer of Suboxone and defendant in the Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit, has filed its corporate disclosures within the MDL. These disclosures are essentially documents containing relevant information about the defendant’s finances, practices, and potentially any internal communications related to prescribed Suboxone film and its dental risks. The disclosures could contain critical information. This update will likely have three significant implications. The first implication is that the plaintiffs’ lawyers will be able to use the information in these disclosures to build their case. The disclosures might reveal internal documents or communications acknowledging that Suboxone films can cause dental problems (and therefore, they were aware of it) or efforts to downplay the risks. The second major implication is that the financial information disclosed could influence potential settlement discussions. If the disclosures show that the defendant has significant financial resources, it might encourage them to consider a settlement to avoid a potentially costly trial.

    Finally, the disclosures can offer insights into the arguments that the defense plans to use to make their case or rather, to defend themselves from the lawsuits being filed against them in the suboxone lawsuits MDL. This will allow the plaintiffs’ lawyers to prepare a more focused legal strategy to counter those arguments. We don’t have access to the specifics of these disclosures yet, but the fact that they’ve been filed shows progress in the lawsuit and provides opportunities for both sides of the lawsuit to strengthen their positions.

    March 23, 2024 – New Case Management Order Issued in the Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit

    Case Management Oder (‘CMO”) #3 has been issued by Judge Calabrese. The latest order allows plaintiffs to simply file their Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit directly into the MDL which avoids delays waiting on transfer orders issued by the MDL Judge.

    Plaintiffs who allege dental injuries following prolonged exposure to sublingual buprenorphine can file suboxone lawsuits directly into MDL 3092 in the Northern District of Ohio as a member case. This will greatly promote judicial efficiency.

    As we are rapidly approaching the expiration of the statute of limitations in states with a two-year SOL, we will soon see a flurry of Suboxone product liability lawsuits filed into the MDL. However, plaintiffs must be careful when filing each new Suboxone lawsuit as a weak case will quickly be targeted by defense counsel as a potential bellwether case.

    Further, we anticipate the plaintiff steering committee will soon commit to more stringent requirements or criteria to qualify for the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit. Presently, the vast majority of tooth decay Suboxone lawsuits allege a wide array of dental injuries including severe tooth decay, dental caries, dental erosion of tooth enamel, tooth fractures and gum infections.

    We expect plaintiff leadership to limit injuries for suboxone lawsuits to the actual loss of a tooth. Whether such loss is a result of a tooth extraction or the tooth naturally fell out as a result of exposure to buprenorphine drugs makes little difference.

    March 9, 2024- Judge Calabrese Appoints Plaintiff Steering Committee at First Status Hearing over Suboxone Lawsuits

    The initial status conference was held in the Suboxone lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Judge Calabrese appointed eighteen (18) individuals to serve on the plaintiffs steering committee for IN RE SUBOXONE (BUPRENORPHINE/NALOXONE) FILM PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION – MDL 3092.

    Judge Calabrese will be setting a discovery timeline and create a mechanism for plaintiffs to file their Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits directly into the MDL over the coming weeks. The next hearing (status conf) is set for April 16, 2024, at 2 p.m.

    Plaintiff lawyers handling Suboxone lawsuits are beginning to scramble in anticipation of the statute of limitations in two-year states expiring in early June 2024. More specifically, the warning label on Suboxone sublingual strips was changed in June 2022.

    Thus, the statute of limitations (hereinafter referred to as “SOL”) in states with two-year SOLs will soon expire. We anticipate a flurry of Suboxone lawsuits will be filed prior to June for the preservation of the client’s rights in these states.

    February 18, 2024 – Hearing set on March 7th to Determine Leadership in the Suboxone Lawsuit

    Judge Calabrese has set a hearing for the Suboxone lawsuits MDL on March 7, 2024, in Cleveland, Ohio. While this is considered an early status conference, Judge Calabrese will begin determining and assigning leadership positions for both the plaintiffs and defendants.

    February 12, 2024 – Will There be a Settlement in the Suboxone in 2024?

    While we believe the Suboxone lawsuits will be a fast-moving mass tort litigation, a settlement is unlikely this year. We now have over 20 federal Suboxone lawsuits in the MDL but we are likely eighteen months away from bellwether trials at the earliest. Our Suboxone lawyers project this lawsuit will take two to three years to reach the state of a settlement which still makes this a speedy mass tort. We believe the science is relatively clear, and the plaintiffs will succeed in the Daubert hearing for the Suboxone lawsuits.

    A Daubert hearing is where the Court determines the admissibility of both the plaintiff’s and defense’s expert witnesses, the methodology behind their scientific conclusions, and how it relates to suboxone films causing tooth decay and the Suboxone lawsuits as a whole. The sheer number of adverse event reports filed by Suboxone users resulted in the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) unilaterally changing the warning label on Suboxone sublingual films in 2022. Keep checking this page for updates on the project which should be coming weekly.

    February 6, 2024 – JPML Creates an MDL for Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit

    The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated 16 Suboxone lawsuits that had been previously filed in various U.S. Federal Courts. The Suboxone lawsuit will now be consolidated before Judge Philip Calabrese in the U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

    The Suboxone lawsuits allege that Indivior Inc. (the manufacturer of Suboxone) failed to warn users that the sublingual form of this prescription medication for opioid use disorder is tremendously acidic to the teeth. In turn, there are numerous adverse event reports of severe dental decay and other dental injuries, including broken teeth, tooth loss, tooth erosion, tooth fractures, and permanent tooth damage.

    We already know the defendant manufacturer is a bad actor that rushed prescription Suboxone film to market when the patent on Suboxone tablets was close to expiring. In turn, what was considered the gold standard for opioid addiction treatment has become in the case of many of our clients, the cause for tooth extractions.

    January 18, 2024 – Helpful Information While We Wait on January 25th

    While we wait for the Suboxone lawsuit JPML hearing on the 25th, we have put together some helpful information for people who are actively taking Suboxone or were taking Suboxone and are worried about their dental hygiene. Scroll below to the section “How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay from Suboxone?

    January 9, 2024 – Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit Appears Headed to Louisiana

    It’s almost a surety that the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will consolidate the Suboxone cases into an MDL which will move the cases to a single Federal Court, with a single judge, and in a single jurisdiction to manage pretrial proceedings, discovery, and motions, for all the cases involved.

    January 4, 2024 – Suboxone Lawsuit Appears to be Gaining Traction

    As more and more Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits are filed against the makers of a drug that has become the gold standard in opioid addiction treatment, hopes are high that the Suboxone lawsuit MDL will move forward at the end of this month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received a significant number of adverse event reports of oral health issues concerning the sublingual film version of Suboxone.

    The opioid crisis led to the growth in popularity of Suboxone.  However, the original patent on Suboxone tablets was set to expire when the sublingual film version was introduced without much testing on the long-term use and overall dental outcomes.  Indivior Inc. was likely preoccupied with the thought of tamping generic competition, as a later felony conviction and violation of monopoly laws might show.

    Adverse event reports of tooth loss, advanced tooth decay, and oral infections have been received by the FDA.  There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that Indivior Inc. (originally a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser) knew the sublingual film form of Suboxone has a damaging effect on dental health including severe tooth decay.

    We are seeing more Suboxone lawsuits filed in Federal Courts throughout the U.S. Thus, it is more likely than not the JPML will consolidate these lawsuits for a consistent and streamlined discovery.

    Monopoly Allegations Against Suboxone May Reveal More About the Current Tooth Decay Litigation

    In October 2023, the maker of Suboxone, Indivior, were facing a different kind of Suboxone lawsuit when they settled for a hefty $385 million in lawsuits related to Suboxone, but not because of failing to warn about tooth decay—though they might be related.

    These lawsuits were brought by pharmaceutical wholesalers over accusations that Indivior created a monopoly by forcing a sublingual film version of Suboxone onto the market just as their patent for Suboxone tablets was running out.

    Earlier in 2023, they settled two other lawsuits—one for $102.5 million to multiple US states and the other for $30 million to health insurers for affecting healthcare costs.

    In the U.S. pharmaceutical patents last 20 years and are crucial for drug companies to protect their investments and profits. The idea is that the 20-year period gives the company time to recoup research and development costs and generate profits.

    After that, generic manufacturers can produce and sell cheaper versions of the drug, which usually significantly reduces the original manufacturer’s profits but helps Americans with less expensive alternatives.

    However, the three lawsuits accused Indivior of circumventing these regulations by rushing a sublingual film version of Suboxone onto the market. They then marketed it to doctors and patients as superior to its tablet counterpart, sidelining generic options by keeping the entire buprenorphine market in their pocket.

    Amid these claims of monopolization, it’s possible that in their haste to get the films on pharmacy shelves, they overlooked concerns surrounding Suboxone films.

    It’s possible that they either failed to discover that sublingual films cause tooth decay during their research or, worse, they knowingly withheld this information to avoid the FDA’s regulatory hurdles and the time it would have taken to research the problem further.

    These monopoly allegations and settlements, and the accompanying tooth decay allegations, paint a complex picture of a pharmaceutical giant trying to navigate between maintaining its market share and ensuring patient safety.

    As these events unfold, they will bring to light more than just the fact that Suboxone can cause tooth decay. They will reveal something about the dangers of pharmaceutical companies prioritizing profits over patient safety and the need for a stronger focus on patient safety in the American healthcare industry.

    January 1, 2024 – Lawyers Confident Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits Will Soon be Consolidated in Northern District of Ohio

    Our lawyers feel confident the Suboxone class action lawsuit will be consolidated and centralized before a single Judge in one federal jurisdiction. In fact, we are confident Suboxone lawsuits will inevitably be consolidated in the Northern District of Ohio.

    If you used sublingual film form, contact us immediately to determine whether you qualify to file a Suboxone lawsuit. Suboxone tooth decay litigation is going to expand significantly over the coming year. Your time to take action is now.

    January 1, 2024 – Strength of Science in Suboxone Tooth Decay Litigation

    What we really love about Suboxone lawsuits is the science. There is a clear link between use of Suboxone sublingual films and severe tooth decay. Unlike recent mass tort failures such as Tylenol,we are not discussing an over the counter drug. Prescription Suboxone film is commonly referred to individuals undergoing opioid addiction treatment.

    The sheer number of folks who have complained of dental injuries in the past four years is alarming. This is why we can expect the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits.

    We now represent many individuals who were prescribed Suboxone (sublingual buprenorphine) and suffered severe dental injuries, tooth decay, tooth loss, oral infections requiring tooth extraction, tooth fractures, and other severe dental injuries. Our colleagues participating in the Suboxone class action lawsuit are telling us their clients are consistently dealing with serious dental injuries. We believe this is a lawsuit that will easily get past the Daubert standard in Federal Court.

    December 15, 2023 – JPML Will Determine the Fate of Suboxone Lawsuits in January

    The Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has announced that there will be a hearing session on January 25th, 2024, where they will hear oral arguments regarding the formation of a Suboxone tooth decay MDL. The hearing will take place in Santa Barbara, California.

    After this hearing, it’s expected that an MDL for the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits will be formed, which, if approved, will mark a significant win for the plaintiffs and simplify pretrial proceedings.

    December 6, 2023 – Suboxone Lawsuit Defendants Support Plaintiffs’ Calls to Establish a Suboxone MDL

    The defendants in the Suboxone lawsuits (Indivior Solutions, Indivior Inc., and Aquestive Therapeutics, who jointly developed Suboxone) have responded to the plaintiffs’ motion to form an MDL lawsuit for Suboxone.

    This move is a bit surprising, but if the defendants saw the writing on the wall, it does make sense for them to agree to the motion so that all the similar Suboxone lawsuits can be brought together under one judge in one court to make things more efficient and consistent which will save everyone time and money.

    November 14, 2023 – Plaintiffs in Suboxone Lawsuit Petition for Multidistrict Litigation

    Several plaintiffs have begun the process to request the formation of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits. Lawyers representing these plaintiffs filed a motion to transfer with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). The motion calls for the establishment of an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to better handle the many lawsuits filed in different districts regarding Suboxone’s link to tooth decay.

    November 1, 2023 – Suboxone Lawsuit Continues to Grow

    Indivior now faces an additional 14 Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits with more expected in the coming months.

    October 30, 2023 – Was Indivior Engaged in a Kickback Scheme?

    In addition to the many lawsuits filed against Indivior regarding the link between Suboxone use and tooth decay, there are also ongoing lawsuits against the makers of Suboxone which allege they were involved in an illegal kickback scheme and that they illegally tried to suppress competition by blocking generic versions of Suboxone. These separate lawsuits help put pressure on the defense in the growing number of Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits.

    September 25, 2023 – First Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit Filed

    The first lawsuit against Indivior and Reckitt Benckiser alleging a link between the branded drug suboxone and tooth decay is filed in the United States District Court for The Northern District of Ohio by plaintiff David Sorensen. We saw this lawsuit as inevitable. There have been far too many reports of adverse events related to dental injuries associated with sublingual Suboxone.

    January 12, 2022 – FDA Changes Warning Label of Suboxone

    The FDA officially announced that drugs like Suboxone can cause tooth decay, requiring new warning labels on the medicines. Numerous reports of dental damage, including broken teeth, severe tooth decay, and gum infections, prompted the FDA to at least list tooth decay for now as a potential health risk. There are a growing number of reports showing a link between Suboxone sublingual films and tooth decay along with other dental health issues. So far, there have not been any Suboxone lawsuits that we have heard of.

    What Is Suboxone?

    According to SAMHSA, Suboxone is the brand name for buprenorphine, a prescription medication meant to help people treat their addiction to opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. Doctors can prescribe buprenorphine as part of a patient’s treatment plan, and the drug comes in many forms. Most medicines containing buprenorphine also contain naloxone, a drug used to mitigate the effects of an opioid overdose.

    Suboxone refers specifically to a type of opioid antagonist buprenorphine. Patients place a thin strip of medication under their tongue or on the inside of their cheek. When the strip dissolves, the patient receives a small dose of a medication that mimics the effects of opioids, but the effect isn’t as strong and, consequently, not as addictive.

    Does Suboxone Cause Tooth Decay and Dental Problems?

    It’s worth noting that even before patients began filing lawsuits related to tooth decay, federal regulators listed a broad range of Suboxone side effects. The documented side effects include respiratory problems, dependency, and more. The Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits, however, focus on a side effect that the drug’s manufacturer may have hidden or downplayed.

    Suboxone Acidity and Tooth Decay

    One explanation is that Suboxone film strips are acidic which can disrupt the pH inside of the mouth and increase the risk of tooth decay. Suboxone film strips have a pH of 3.4 when dissolved in water which is comparable to vinegar or orange juice. It is not especially acidic but the recurrent use of strips, their prolonged contact with the teeth, and other factors could contribute to dental issues.

    Dry Mouth Side Effects Could Contribute to Suboxone Tooth Decay

    Suboxone is known to cause dry mouth which may play a role in the observed increased risk of tooth decay. Saliva production is essential for maintaining healthy gums and teeth since it helps regulate acid and bacteria in the mouth. Buprenorphine-related dry mouth, in conjunction with the acidity of Suboxone film strips therefore are prime suspects when it comes to the cause of increased tooth decay risk.

    Streptococcus Mutans Bacteria

    Another theory regarding buprenorphine and tooth decay proposes that Suboxone could influence the growth of a bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans that produce lactic acids that can help cause tooth decay.

    S. mutans is a type of bacteria naturally present in the mouth, especially in plaque, the sticky film that forms on teeth. It thrives on sweet foods and sugary drinks, which then convert to acid and break down tooth enamel, the hard outer layer protecting your teeth.

    Since Suboxone film strips potentially contain sweeteners to make them more palatable, they could be causing S. mutans to thrive even if a person thinks they have cleaned their teeth or avoided sugary foods.

    Streptococcus mutans bacteria is not the entire reason for tooth decay, but it’s widely considered the key initiator in the development of cavities.

    Prolonged Contact with Teeth

    One of the key factors contributing to Suboxone-induced tooth decay is prolonged contact with your teeth. Suboxone, typically administered as a film that dissolves under the tongue, exposes your teeth to the medication for an extended period. Here’s how this can lead to problems.

    Suboxone films are designed to dissolve slowly, releasing the medication gradually. This process can take 30 minutes or longer, during which your teeth are continuously bathed in the acidic solution (Suboxone has a pH of around 3.4, which is acidic). This acidity can erode tooth enamel, the hard outer layer protecting your teeth from decay.

    Suboxone treatment often requires taking the medication multiple times a day. Each dose exposes your teeth to the acidic solution anew, increasing the cumulative effect on your enamel.

    Taking Suboxone before bed can be particularly risky. Saliva production naturally decreases while sleeping, reducing the protective washing away of acid and food particles. With a weakened enamel and less saliva, the risk of tooth decay becomes even higher.

    Long-Term Use of Suboxone

    Suboxone is a vital medication for treating opioid use disorder, often requiring patients to use the medication for a long period of time—sometimes for years. We have discussed all the ways Suboxone can potentially cause tooth decay, but one element overlooked is patients using the medication for years.

    Using Suboxone for many months or years causes a patient’s teeth to be exposed to acid, constant dry mouth, and a potential increase in S. mutans bacteria, all of which can lead to chronic erosion of tooth enamel. This weakens teeth even more, making them more vulnerable to decay and creating a vicious cycle.

    Studies Connecting Suboxone to Tooth Decay

    Buprenorphine has been the subject of numerous studies examining the relationship between drugs containing the ingredient and the onset of tooth decay among patients. So far, several studies have shown that there is reason for concern since the drug shows a high correlation between dental problems and sublingual buprenorphine usage.

    These studies of Suboxone and similar drugs have helped to create a clear relationship that is the basis for these Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits and affirms many plaintiffs’ allegations.

    2013 Suboxone Study of Buprenorphine Users

    A study published in The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders in 2013 investigated patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts undergoing treatment for opioid dependence and reported tooth decay and other dental injuries as side effects associated with their usage of buprenorphine.

    The study found that over 90% of the patients they examined had low to moderate salivary buffering. Of the general population, less than 50% of people are thought to have low to moderate salivary buffering. This correlation between lower salivary buffering and buprenorphine users reporting tooth decay is believed to indicate a relationship between the effects of the drug and increased tooth decay risk

    Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Suboxone Study

    In December 2022, a research letter published by the medical journal JAMA found that compared with other forms of buprenorphine or naloxone, patients who took the sublingual film form of Suboxone were much more likely to develop dental problems.

    Researchers are still investigating why this tooth decay happens, but the problem may be with how Suboxone blocks the production of saliva. Saliva helps keep teeth clean and reduce acidity in the mouth, but if the body can’t produce saliva, acidity and bacteria levels increase, making dental problems more likely to occur.

    2023 Study of Suboxone AERs

    A 2023 study analyzed adverse event reports filed through the United States Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) between 2015 and 2022. The data allowed researchers to determine that sublingual Suboxone was responsible for a much higher rate of adverse events involving dental disorders compared to buccal and orally administered buprenorphine.

    What Dental Problems Does Suboxone Cause?

    It’s now known that Suboxone—a medication prescribed to treat opioid addiction that is administered by dissolving in the cheek or under the tongue—can cause serious dental problems. These issues range in severity and can include one or multiple symptoms.

    This list of dental health problems is taken for the FDA report on Suboxone causing dental decay.

    Cavities or Tooth Decay

    Caused by factors like Suboxone-induced dry mouth, bacteria in the mouth can thrive, breaking down enamel and leading to decay. Cavities are small holes in the teeth that can be painful and expose nerves. They almost always require treatment to fix.

    Enamel Erosion

    Suboxone exacerbates acid’s impact on enamel, which accelerates erosion. As the hard, protective enamel breaks down, the soft inner tooth is exposed to decay.

    Tooth Fracture

    Teeth that are weakened by Suboxone-induced decay are highly susceptible to fractures. Like a bone fracture, a tooth fracture occurs when the tooth splits or cracks, often going down to the nerves and causing extreme pain.

    Fillings Falling Out

    The tooth decay caused by Suboxone films compromises filling integrity, leading to them falling out prematurely. Fillings protect our teeth from further damage, so losing them can worsen the existing decay, especially if you don’t know that you lost the filling in the first place.

    Gum Disease

    Suboxone-related dry mouth fosters bacterial growth, which escalates the risk of gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

    Dental Abscesses (infection)

    Dry mouth, acids, and sweeteners provide a breeding ground for bacteria, heightening the risk of painful abscesses. Dental abscesses are painful, pus-filled sacs caused by bacterial infections in the teeth or gums. They occur in the gums and cause severe toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.

    Cracked Tooth

    Suboxone-related tooth decay weakens enamel, increasing the likelihood that a person will experience a cracked tooth.

    Thrush

    Suboxone can lead to dry mouth and reduced saliva, creating an environment perfect for fungal overgrowth, also known as thrush. This condition results in white lesions, discomfort, and difficulty swallowing, impacting a person’s ability to eat and speak.

    Gum Recession

    Gum recession involves the pulling back of the gum tissue from the tooth, exposing the root and causing a massive amount of pain. It can be exacerbated by dry mouth and bacteria related to Suboxone use. Gum recession can lead to sensitivity, increased risk of decay, and aesthetic concerns, affecting a person’s dental health and self-confidence.

    Tooth Loss

    Suboxone-linked decay can cause tooth loss, either because it had to be extracted due to severe decay or gum disease or because it falls out on its own. Suboxone has shown that it can cause all the right conditions for tooth loss, leading to challenges with eating and speaking, as well as self-esteem.

    Bone Loss in the Jaw

    Bone loss in the jaw is often a consequence of untreated, periodontal disease or tooth loss, which can be accelerated or caused by Suboxone use. This process breaks down the structural integrity of the jaw bone and can lead to further tooth loss and changes in facial structure. Undoubtedly, this is one of the more severe conditions that can affect one’s quality of life.

    Rampant caries (severe and multiple cavities, more than 10)

    Rampant caries are characterized by widespread and rapid tooth decay that affects numerous teeth. When enamel is severely weakened across all the teeth, it creates a widespread situation. This condition can lead to severe pain, tooth loss, and the need for extensive dental treatments.

    Total Tooth Loss

    Total tooth loss, also known as edentulism, refers to when a person has lost all of their teeth or most of their teeth. This can result from various causes, including severe tooth decay, gum disease (periodontitis), consuming certain foods or medicines, or other health conditions affecting a person’s oral health. As you can imagine, losing all teeth significantly impacts a person’s ability to chew and speak properly. It can also lead to nutritional deficiencies and a decline in self-esteem.

    Tooth Decay Can Lead to Serious Problems Outside the Mouth

    While tooth decay and gum disease primarily affect oral health, they can also cause serious negative consequences for a person’s overall health if the problems are unknown or left untreated.

    Here are some potential health problems that tooth decay and gum disease can contribute to:

    • Cardiovascular Disease: Studies suggest a link between gum disease, specifically periodontitis, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The theory is that the harmful bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation throughout the body, potentially affecting the cardiovascular system and, eventually, the heart.
    • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease. Gum disease has also been shown to worsen blood sugar control in people with diabetes. This creates a two-way street where each condition is making the other worse. Therefore, if someone who has diabetes gets gum disease because of Suboxone use, it can actually make their diabetes worse.
    • Respiratory Diseases: Research suggests a possible link between gum disease and respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The theory is similar to cardiovascular disease in that bacteria from the mouth enter the body, not through the bloodstream, but through the lungs. When gum disease gets particularly bad, the bacteria can be inhaled and contribute to lung inflammation.
    • Pregnancy Complications: While the research is still ongoing, some studies have suggested a possible link between gum disease and an increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight. The cause of these issues may be related to similar reasons as bacteria entering the bloodstream and respiratory tract.
    • Other Systemic Conditions: Gum disease has also been linked by some studies to other health issues, like rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. However, much more research is needed to confirm these connections and understand how they operate.

    What Treatments and Procedures Does Suboxone Tooth Decay Lead To?

    Tooth decay caused by Suboxone’s acidity, its tendency to cause dry mouth, and how it can feed bacteria can cause patients to require expensive and painful treatments. These repairs and medical procedures can put a ton of strain on a person, not only because of the high cost and pain but also because of inconvenience, stress, and emotional trauma.

    Fillings

    Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that were damaged by decay. The idea is to bring them back to their normal function and shape. Suboxone-related decay can cause a person to need dental fillings, as well as compromise existing fillings. The cost of fillings varies but can range from $100 to $300 per filling. If the decay is not treated, it can lead to pain and further damage.

    Crowns

    Dental crowns are caps placed over damaged teeth to restore their size, shape, appearance, and strength. They are usually the next step if the decay is too intense for fillings to be effective. Decay or fracture caused by Suboxone use may make crowns necessary. Tooth crowns typically cost between $1,000 and $3,500 per crown and, when properly taken care of, can last 15 to 30 years. Crowns help maintain dental functionality, aesthetics, and pain caused by decay or infections.

    Inlays and Onlays

    Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings made of composite material, gold, or ceramic and are used when the tooth structure is too damaged for a traditional filling but not enough for a crown. Suboxone-related decay can make inlays or onlays necessary and leave the patient with the bill. The cost ranges from $650 to $1,200 per tooth. Like fillings, they help maintain the integrity of teeth and prevent further decay.

    Dental Bridges

    Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth to existing ones. People who have suffered tooth loss related to sublingual Suboxone films may need a bridge, and they aren’t cheap, often costing $1,500 to $5,000.

    Dentures

    For extensive tooth loss or total tooth loss, dentures are often used as a solution to restore oral function and appearance. We all might remember our grandparents having dentures, but unfortunately, Suboxone can cause young people to need them too. This removable set of teeth can cost from $1,200 to $3,000.

    Root Canal

    When decay reaches the tooth’s pulp (the jelly-like center of each tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue), a root canal is performed to remove the infected tissue. This is a common consequence of Suboxone-related decay. The procedure typically costs between $700 and $1,500 and is very uncomfortable, but it does save the natural tooth and helps maintain normal biting force and sensation.

    Gum Surgery

    Advanced gum disease resulting from Suboxone use might require surgery to restore the gums and repair deep-set problems. Gum surgery can prevent tooth loss and reduce the risk of associated health complications (see below).

    When a tooth is severely damaged due to decay caused by Suboxone, extraction may be needed. Extractions involve removing a problematic tooth and can relieve pain and prevent the spread of infection. It is performed when medically necessary but also when a patient cannot afford the more expensive procedures listed here.

    Bone Grafting

    Jawbone deterioration from Suboxone-related decay or tooth loss may lead to the need for bone grafting. This procedure is needed to increase the jaw’s stability for future implants and other procedures so that they last and facial structure is maintained.

    Jaw Surgery

    Severe complications from Suboxone use may necessitate complex jaw surgery to correct serious bone issues. This surgery can dramatically enhance a patient’s ability to eat, speak, and breathe more efficiently, as well as improve appearance if their jawbone is damaged due to severe decay.

    Each of these dental treatments can slow down, stop, or repair specific damages caused by Suboxone use. But it also underscores the importance of preventive care, early intervention, and the need for companies that cause this kind of damage to be held accountable. All of this could have been prevented if they had added the same warning label they use now, but just 20 years earlier.

    How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay from Suboxone?

    The above health issues, some of which are very serious, have been reported in all kinds of Suboxone patients including those with no history of dental issues. Despite this, the medical community’s opinion is that the benefits of Suboxone (like keeping you off drugs and alive) outweigh the risks.

    Obviously, whether you are taking Suboxone or not, proper dental care is important, and even more so if you are taking acidic Suboxone.

    Here are some tips from respected sources on proper dental hygiene.

    1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. And if you eat or take your medicine after your last brushing, then do it again.
    2. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth.
    3. Brush properly for at least two minutes, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. If you can, use a sonic toothbrush which does a great job giving your teeth an extra good scrubbing.
    4. Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 to 4 months AND after recovering from being sick to prevent spreading the bacteria or virus again.
    5. Don’t forget to brush your tongue which will prevent bad breath and other oral health problems. Consider a tongue scraper which is much easier to use and has been proven to be even more effective than brushing your tongue.
    6. Use fluoride toothpaste which is scientifically proven to fight germs that can lead to decay and protect your teeth’s enamel.
    7. Floss every single day. It’s important. It stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and helps reduce inflammation. There are lots of flossing tools out there that can make the task easier and less likely to be skipped.
    8. Use mouthwash every night since it reduces the amount of acid in your mouth and re-mineralizes the teeth, both of which are especially important for someone taking Suboxone.
    9. Drink a lot of water which can help wash out some of the sugar, acid, and other harmful leftovers between brushing.
    10. Limit sugary and acidic foods, like desserts, candy, fruits, tea, and coffee which can erode the enamel of your teeth,
    11. See your dentist at least every 6 months for cleanings and checkups.

    Here are some additional tips that are specific to Suboxone to prevent dental health problems:

    If you are just starting Suboxone

    • Schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can customize a prevention plan specifically to address the risks caused by Suboxone. Tell them if you have a history of cavities or other dental problems. This is actually one of the FDA guidelines for doctors to tell new Suboxone patients, so it’s important.
    • Visit the dentist for regular checkups while taking Suboxone.
    • Follow the tips below.

    If you are already taking Suboxone

    • After your Suboxone medication is fully dissolved, take a large sip of water, swish it around your teeth, gums, and under your tongue, then swallow the water.
    • Wait at least one hour after the Suboxone has fully dissolved, and then brush your teeth.
    • Take your Suboxone at least one hour before you plan on brushing your teeth before bed so that you don’t sleep with the acid on your teeth.
    • Try to avoid acidic drinks and foods while taking Suboxone so you don’t increase the stress on your teeth.
    • Make sure you are visiting the dentist for regular checkups and tell them you’re on Suboxone if they don’t already know.
    • Schedule an appointment right away if you notice any problems with your teeth or gums while taking Suboxone.

    If you notice any dental problems while you’re taking Suboxone, do not suddenly stop taking it without first making a plan with your doctor.

    Abrupt discontinuation of buprenorphine will lead to serious consequences, including withdrawal symptoms (getting “sick”, nausea and vomiting, head and body aches, insomnia, severe anxiety, fever and chills, depression, etc.) and possibly relapse that could result in regression into active addiction, overdose, and death.

    How Do I Know If I Qualify for a Suboxone Lawsuit?

    To qualify for a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit, you must meet the following criteria:

    • You were taking Suboxone before 2022 (this is when a warning was added to the medication information)
    • You were using Suboxone that was prescribed by a doctor to reduce opioid dependence, stay in recovery, or for pain management
    • You developed dental issues because of Suboxone (meaning you did not have serious problems before but you did after using Suboxone)
    • You have some type of dental records before your use of Suboxone (this will help prove the condition of your teeth before using Suboxone)
    • You experienced tooth decay or health problems beyond a normal level of decline. A more detailed list can be found in the above section titled “What Dental Problems Does Suboxone Cause”
    • Your dental injuries resulted in damages, like dental bills, medical bills, pain and suffering, or lost wages

    Pharmaceutical companies, perhaps more than any other type of corporation, have a moral and legal responsibility to make sure their products are safe. And we intend to hold them accountable!

    If you meet these criteria or have questions about your eligibility, talk to a Suboxone lawsuit lawyer to see whether you qualify for a Suboxone injury claim. You can call us anytime at (212) 779-0057 or fill out our online contact form. Our team offers a free consultation to determine whether you qualify to file a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit.

    How Does the Statute of Limitations in My State Affect My Ability to File a Suboxone Lawsuit?

    The ability to file a Suboxone lawsuit in your state (besides your injuries) is dependent on the statute of limitations in your state, which determines the timeframe you have to take legal action. In the case of the Suboxone Lawsuit, it would depend on the statute of limitations for product liability.

    The statute of limitations varies from state to state and typically ranges from two to six years for product liability lawsuits. The clock starts ticking the day you find out that you have severe dental decay or have to have teeth extracted. This would be proven by your dental records during discovery. This is particularly important in the Suboxone lawsuit cases, where the damage to your teeth and dental health may not be obvious right away. Or, you may not have known that your tooth decay was caused by the Suboxone films, which has been a common theme in Suboxone users we have spoken with. In these situations, it would be unfair for the statute of limitations to apply to you if you did not know.

    If you believe that Suboxone has harmed your dental health, it’s crucial to speak with a lawyer experienced in product liability cases (or even better, in the Suboxone lawsuit) as soon as possible so that you can understand how your state’s specific statute of limitations will affect your ability to file a tooth decay lawsuit against Suboxone and to make sure that the lawsuit is filed in a timely manner.

    If you live in a state where the statute of limitations has expired, you no longer have a right to seek compensation for damages caused by Suboxone.

    For a list of specific states where the statute of limitations has not expired and where we are still accepting Suboxone lawsuits, view our “Suboxone Lawsuit Updates” section at the top of this article.

    What Compensation Can I Get from a Suboxone Lawsuit?

    Every personal injury case, including those involving Suboxone tooth decay, is unique. The compensation you could recover depends on the severity of your dental issues, their impact on your daily life, the cost of your medical treatment, and other factors. You can seek compensation for various losses as part of a Suboxone tooth decay claim, including money for:

    • Medical Expenses: This includes costs for dental treatments, surgeries, and any ongoing dental care you need. It can also cover future dental expenses related to the condition.
    • Pain and Suffering: Suboxone-related tooth decay can cause significant physical pain and emotional distress. Compensation for pain and suffering addresses the non-economic impact of your dental issues.
    • Lost Wages: If your dental problems have required you to take time off work, you can pursue compensation for lost wages. This includes compensation for the days you could not work due to dental treatments or recovery.
    • Loss of Earning Capacity: In some cases, catastrophic dental issues may impact your ability to work in the long term. If this is the case, you can demand compensation for your loss of earning capacity.
    • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: You can include any additional costs you incurred because of the tooth decay, such as travel expenses for dental appointments or special dietary needs, in your claim.

    What to Do If You Have Taken Suboxone

    If you’ve taken Suboxone and are now experiencing serious dental issues, it’s crucial to take steps to safeguard your legal rights. After seeking medical treatment, the following steps can help you navigate the situation:

    Document Your Dental Issues

    Keep detailed records of all dental appointments, treatments, and recommendations. Document the progression of your dental problems with photos and notes.

    Track Expenses and Impacts

    Keep a record of all expenses related to your dental issues, including bills, receipts, and insurance claims. Also, note any impacts on your daily life, such as missed workdays or activities you can no longer enjoy.

    Avoid Discussing Your Case

    Be cautious about discussing your case with insurance companies or on social media. Your statements can be used against you by your opponent in a personal injury claim. This includes discussing your suboxone lawsuit, being prescribed suboxone films, or how suboxone films have affected you on social media. Anything you post on social media is fair game for the opposing attorneys.

    Consult a Lawyer

    Contact a law firm with experience handling Suboxone tooth decay cases. An attorney can provide valuable advice on your legal options and the best course of action.

    How Our Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawyers Can Help

    You have enough to worry about without the hassle of a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit. While you recover from your injuries, our experienced attorneys will gather evidence to support your claim and prove why you should receive compensation for your losses. We’ll take care of all the paperwork in the litigation process, handle all the negotiations, and, if necessary, prepare for trial. We’ll handle your case so you can focus on yourself and your family.

    Our team has extensive trial and mass tort experience. We have worked on massive lawsuits, including Camp Lejeune water contamination, Ozempic stomach paralysis, and Philips defective CPAP machines.

    We know how to best present your case to a judge or jury. We will seek compensatory damages and punitive damages in your Suboxone lawsuit. It is our belief that a Suboxone settlement could be a year or two away.

    When you receive treatment for opioid dependency, you don’t expect that you’ll be exchanging that problem for severe dental issues. The Suboxone lawsuit attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can be your champion in your fight for fair compensation. Call us today at (212) 779-0057 or reach out online for a complimentary case review. If you have experienced worsening dental health following the use of Suboxone and require extensive dental procedures, call us today for a free case evaluation.