asthma and oral health

The Connection Between Asthma and Oral Health


Did you know that asthma and oral health are related? A recent study in the Periodontology reveals that people with asthma are likely to experience gum disease. Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs, causing wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing among adults and most of the time, children. As this condition narrows the airways, someone with asthma is incapable to breathe through his nose; therefore, he often breathes through his mouth, causing dry mouth or known as Xerostomia. Xerostomia, as we all are aware of, leads to buildup of plaques and gum diseases. This is where the link between the two steps in.

What Causes Asthma?

Since we have learned that asthma and dental health are parallel to each other, let us talk about the different triggers that cause asthma and how to avoid them. Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Intense weather conditions such as high humidity or low temperatures, airborne allergens such as pollens, dust mites, pet dander and wastes, irritants such as smoke and chemical fumes are few among the number of triggers of asthma. Asthma does not have a cure; however, the symptoms can be controlled by avoiding the mentioned triggers. Household pests, for instance, can easily get inside the house; hence it is crucial to take extra precautions for any signs of cockroaches, rodents, and even bed bugs for example.  

Xerostomia or Dry Mouth

People suffering from asthma are most likely to suffer from dry mouth known as Xerostomia. As asthma is a condition that restricts air flow, people tend to breathe through their mouth. This leads to Xerostomia wherein the mouth does not produce enough saliva. Asthma medications such as inhalers, which are termed as vital ally in your asthma treatment can also further dry out the mouth. On this account, bad bacteria start to accumulate and result to plaque buildup as there is no ample amount of saliva that is essential in fighting them. This condition then leads to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum diseases.

How to Take Care of Your Oral Health if You have Asthma

The risk of forming gum diseases for people with asthma is proven higher. We can say that asthma is inevitable in this context especially with continual exposure to triggers. On the other hand, with the advanced technology in the world of medicine, protecting your oral health even in the presence of asthma has become viable. By simply brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, you can avoid gum diseases.  And as inhaler is a must if you have asthma, rinsing your mouth after using your inhaler is also a must. Some manufacturers use a sweet taste in their inhalers to make it appetizing to consumers; hence it is advisable to brush every after use of the device. Some inhalers also affect the back part of the mouth. This area can be further infected, and infection can spread out to the throat and the rest of the mouth when not treated immediately. It is best to always consult a doctor for an inhaler that will not adversely affect your oral health. Nevertheless, doctors and dentists will usually advise you to increase your water intake during the day. This helps in preventing dry mouth. Lastly, when it comes to maintaining oral health, brushing and flossing is always the best. Prevention is best than cure is always the finest policy, as they say.

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