A panel of judges has centralized more than a dozen Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits into multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Ohio.

The centralized lawsuits claim Suboxone’s sublingual formula can cause dental problems because of its acidity. Plaintiffs have reported tooth decay, tooth erosion and tooth loss. According to Suboxone lawsuits, the drug’s makers failed to properly warn about the risk.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation assigned the case to Judge J. Phillip Calabrese.

“We find that the Northern District of Ohio is the most appropriate transferee district for this litigation,” the panel said in its order. “Thirteen actions are pending in this district, which is centrally located, accessible, and agreeable to all responding parties. Centralization before the Honorable J. Philip Calabrese allows us to assign this litigation to a jurist who has not yet had the opportunity to preside over an MDL.”

Suboxone and Tooth Decay Risk

Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) first hit the market in 2002, and it was originally sold as a tablet. However, drugmakers later developed the sublingual film formulation, which users dissolve in their mouths under their tongues.

This formula is highly acidic and can cause damage to teeth, according to lawsuits. And all the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits have this fact in common.

“The same factual questions regarding general causation, including the mechanism of the alleged injury, are present in all cases,” according to the panel’s order. “Similarly common are questions surrounding the adequacy of the testing defendants conducted regarding Suboxone film and the sufficiency of warnings regarding dental problems.”

The drug has been available in its sublingual form since about 2013, and drug makers didn’t add a warning about the risk of dental damage until 2022.

Users Say Tooth Loss Has Impacted Their Lives

People who filed Suboxone lawsuits say they have been left with devastating tooth loss and tens of thousands of dental bills that they can’t pay. Many have been forced to deal with losing teeth and not being able to afford to replace them.

“If I had known that I would have lost all my teeth, I would have tried something else to deal with my addiction,” said one Suboxone user, being identified as D.S. to protect her privacy. “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t use it. It’s not worth it. At this point, I’m going to have to replace all my teeth, and you’re talking maybe $65,000 at that point?”

As a result of losing her teeth, D.S. doesn’t go out and she’s stopped seeing her friends, she said. The only time she goes out is for work, where she interfaces with patients in health care. And the idea of losing her teeth and having to face people at her job is devastating.

D.S. said she hopes the Suboxone lawsuits will bring awareness and prevent others from going through what she’s been through.