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Asthma and oral health

Asthma and oral health

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.

10 health benefits of having a probiotic oral microbiome

10 health benefits of having a probiotic oral microbiome

Everybody knows the importance of nurturing probiotic bacteria for good gut health. We consume vast quantities of yoghurt and other probiotic products to ensure our gut microbiome includes a good range of probiotic bacterial species.

What is the gut microbiome…and microbiota?

The gut microbiome refers to the curated collection of genomes (genes) identified in all the microorganisms found in a person’s gut. It’s basically a list of germ genes.

On the other hand, the gut microbiota is a reference to the gut’s microbial ecosystem and the actual microorganisms living in it. Their numbers can vary from 10 trillion to 100 trillion microorganisms at any given time. For example, several hours after a huge Sunday night meal, the microorganism count in your gut skyrockets for good reason.

Having a well balanced, flourishing gut microbiota benefits your body in a number of ways, including:

breaks down and converts food into absorbable nutrients for the body’s cell regeneration, energy and hydration needs
regulation of nutrient absorption
protection against harmful bacteria by competitive exclusion
produces essential bio-active compounds, such as a range of B vitamins

The oral cavity contains the body’s 2nd largest microbiota

If we move back up the oesophagus to the mouth, you’ll find the location of the body’s second largest microbiota after the gut – the oral cavity. Alas, there is no such public awareness or recognition of the oral microbiota nor the links of its 600-700 species to our oral and general health.

Where in the oral cavity do they live? Pretty much everywhere, including the teeth, tongue, gumline (gingival sulcus), saliva, hard/soft palates, floor of your mouth, inner cheeks and throat. All these different saliva-coated surfaces combine to provide a unique and varied environment suitable for a wide range of probiotic microbial species.

10 benefits of a diverse oral microbiome and healthy oral microbiota

A healthy oral microbiota is an exceptionally complex microbial habitat that contributes to our oral and general health in many ways:

  1. helps to shape and drive a healthy gut microbiome
  2. regulates the saliva’s buffering capacity (for high PH) to neutralise acids in the mouth – the type that cause tooth erosion
  3. reduces numbers of pathogenic acid-producing bacteria via competitive exclusion – decreases the bacterial acid load responsible for tooth decay & cavities
  4. helps prevent gum disease
  5. decreases gum inflammation
  6. initiates digestion and digestive processes
  7. metabolises nitrates into nitrites – a key molecule to reduce blood pressure
  8. prevents plaque
  9. prevents bad breath

When your oral microbiota is in balance, expect to have good oral health, great digestion and even better nutritional uptake for a healthier mouth and body.

Unfortunately, eating junk food and excess use of antimicrobial mouthwashes aren’t the best ways to sustain these plant-loving probiotic oral bacteria. On the contrary, we have either starved or wiped them out, acidified our saliva and allowed billions of sugar-loving pathogenic bacteria to take over – wreaking havoc on our teeth, gums, brain and body.

Is it time for you to replenish and nourish your oral microbiota for better oral health?

For further infomation, please read more about Oral Pathogen Test

Oral health education alone for kids is not enough

Oral health education alone for kids is not enough

Researchers from the Cochrane Public Health Group recently published a review of 38 evidence-based studies on effective community-centred oral health promotion interventions for preventing tooth decay (caries), cavities and gum disease in children. Researchers reviewed interventions in a number of childhood settings including school, community, healthcare and home environments. The results of the review indicated that there was little evidence to show that oral health education alone made a difference in the level of caries in children. Some study results did show that oral health education improved gum health, oral cleanliness and oral hygiene care behaviours.

However, when oral health education was combined with other types of oral health promotion interventions, the impact on children’s oral health was far more positive. A significant improvement in the reduction of caries in children’s baby teeth occurred when oral health education was combined with supervised tooth brushing using fluoridated toothpaste. Caries in children’s permanent teeth were reduced when oral health education was combined with professional dental checkups and preventative care. Other interventions that benefit children’s oral health (when combined with oral health education) include:

  • provision of toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • sugarless non-citric chewing gum
  • motivational mentoring
  • professional dental care
  • application of fluoride varnish and fluoride supplements
  • training of non-professional educators and caregivers
  • improved child diet and restrictions on sugar intake

Essentially, the Cochrane Public Health Group’s review concluded that a range of interventions were necessary to ensure the optimal oral health of children – keeping them free from tooth decay and gum disease, as well as preventing the chronic oral conditions that could affect their future adult health. Sources: “Community-based population-level interventions for promoting child oral health.”, Authors: de Silva AM, Hegde S, Akudo Nwagbara B, Calache H, Gussy MG, Nasser M, Morrice HR, Riggs E, Leong PM, Meyenn LK, Yousefi-Nooraie R. Published: 15 September 2016.