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Asthma's Effects on Oral Health

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease affecting many people in the U. S. Over 26.5 million Americans have asthma, and there are many surrounding issues, including dentistry. What does asthma mean for your oral health? Research shows deep connections between asthma, oral cavities, and gum diseases. Individuals with asthma often breathe through their mouth rather than the nose, leading to a dry mouth. This condition also leads to negative oral health implications such as bad breath, mouth sores, and cavities.

Common symptoms during asthma attacks are difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and dyspnea. People who use different asthma medications are at higher risk of having dental cavities and other oral health problems because some asthma medications can reduce saliva and salivary enzymes in your mouth. Reduction in salivary flow causes dry mouth, which increases the risk of developing dental cavities. Other asthma medications can cause oral thrush (oral yeast infection), so rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouthwash after every use – it is essential for dental health!

The other problems associated are oral ulcers, changes in taste, bad breath, dry and rough tongue, and a burning feeling in the mouth. Research studies have shown that children and adults with asthma have a higher prevalence of dental erosion (a type of tooth wear).

How Asthma Can Adversely Affect Oral Health
Dental Exam by Dr. Michael Ofir

Follow these tips to protect your teeth and gums:

  • Rinse your mouth with water. After using your inhaler, make sure to rinse your mouth with water.

  • Avoid toothbrushing immediately after using an inhaler.

  • Daily use fluoride mouth rinse, low-abrasive fluoride toothpaste, and a soft toothbrush.

  • Hydrate often.

  • Consider getting a different inhaler.

  • Treat allergies.

  • Stay on top of your dental hygiene.

  • Talk to your dentist.

You must visit the dentist regularly if you have been diagnosed with asthma, especially if you have symptoms such as red or swollen gums, bad breath that won’t go away, tender or bleeding gums, painful chewing, receding gums or longer appearing teeth, white coating, or white patches on the tongue (oral yeast infection). Always tell your dental provider if you or your child has asthma and any medications being taken. Report any changes to oral health, such as bleeding gums or sensitive teeth.

Please call one of our offices or contact us online for more information about dental health!


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