Did you know asthma can affect your oral health?
Many people with asthma tend to breathe through their mouth. This lowers the amount of saliva being produced. Saliva helps to keep your teeth clean, washing away the bacteria and plaque that can cause cavities and gum disease. With less saliva, you are more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
Medications used to help control asthma symptoms, such as corticosteroids, also reduce saliva production. Medications can also cause bad breath.
Inhalers can also pose dental issues. When used, back part of the top of your mouth can become irritated. This can lead to an infection, and that infection can spread throughout your throat and mouth. One such infection that people with asthma are more at risk for is oral thrush. Although its easily treated, it is not a pleasant experience. It is a good idea to rinse with water after you use your inhaler to help prevent these infections.
The best way to mitigate the issues that asthma poses to your oral health is to be vigilant in your brushing and flossing. Keeping up with a healthy routine will keep bacteria at bay and prevent tooth decay and gum disease in anyone, including those with asthma.
When you visit the dentist, it is important to let them know you have asthma, especially if you have some anxiety about your visit. An asthma attack during a dental procedure is an emergency you do not want to face. It is a good idea to try to curb your anxiety before your visit, to lower the chances of an attack. If your dentist offers sedation dentistry, it may be wise to look into this option to help keep you relaxed and safe.
Always remember to bring your inhaler to a dental appointment. Even if you dont need it, its better to be safe than sorry.