The link between asthma and your oral health
Do you have asthma or know someone who does? If so, then it’s important that you are aware of the connection between asthma and oral health. Recent studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between poor oral hygiene and an increased risk of asthma attacks. Poor dental care can lead to inflammation in the airways which can trigger an attack. On top of this, research has found that people with severe forms of asthma tend to suffer from more cavities than those without asthma.
Poor oral hygiene heightens asthma attacks
Poor oral hygiene can lead to inflammation in the airways which can trigger an attack. When bacteria and plaque start to accumulate on the teeth, gums, and tongue they can release toxins into the bloodstream that can cause inflammation of the airways. This inflammation makes it more difficult for people with asthma to breathe.
Asthma increases the risk of dry mouth
A dry mouth is a condition in which your body does not produce enough saliva. Asthma can cause an individual to take shallow breaths which results in a decreased production of saliva. Saliva helps to fight against dental plaque, bacteria, and acidity levels in the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is more exposed to oral health issues such as cavities and gum disease.
In addition to this, people with asthma may be more likely to have an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. This can cause a higher risk of bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
Effects of asthma medications on your oral health
- Gingivitis: Asthma medications can often cause gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth. This condition may make your gums more prone to infection and bleeding after brushing or flossing.
- Cavities: Certain asthma medications can increase the risk of cavities due to decreased saliva production.
- Mouth sores: Some people who take asthma medication may experience mouth sores. These can range in size and severity, but they are usually painful and can make it difficult to eat or drink.
- Tooth decay: Long-term use of certain asthma medications can cause tooth decay, as they may reduce the number of minerals in your teeth.
- Dental erosion: Asthma medications can contribute to changes in your teeth and bone structure. For example, long-term use of steroids may cause changes in the shape of your jawbone or make your teeth more prone to erosion.
Asthma and Dental Anxiety
Don’t let your fear of an Asthma attack stop you from seeing the dentist, or at worst, never at all. If you feel nervous or have dental anxiety, don’t worry. Be open and honest with the dentist to create a treatment plan that addresses your concerns for a comfortable and stress-free appointment. Modern dental clinics have a variety of options for patients to assist with dental anxiety these days.
Protect your oral health
The best way to protect your oral health is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every 6 months. This will help reduce the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
In addition, talking to your doctor about your asthma and its effects on your oral health is an important step in making sure that you are properly managing both conditions. Your doctor may be able to provide advice or prescribe medications to help reduce the risk of developing oral health issues related to asthma. By understanding the connection between asthma and oral health, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from potential complications.