Asthma usually appears as a childhood disease, and once it’s established in the lungs, the inflammatory process that occurs often leads to the underdevelopment of the lungs impeding their function and experience negative oral health effects. Asthma has the ability to increase the risk of oral diseases such as cavities and gum disease, and for those who continue with this condition, it’s essential that these people receive good oral care by cooperating with their physicians and working out long-term treatment plans that work.
Asthma, Oral Health, and Prevention Tips
People with asthma are reported to be 1.5 times more like to have cavities than those without asthma, according to a systematic review from the Journal of Asthma. Many of the prominent symptoms with asthma, such as coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest, can result in an increased risk due to their higher vulnerability to respiratory diseases such as bronchitis. Inadequate access to care, poor immune system function, and the wide variety of asthma triggers that occur can influence many of the factors that lead to these diseases.
The connection between childhood asthma and cavities contains many positive, strong correlations, as bronchial asthma is considered a risk factor for gum inflammation and that the swelling and inflammation created by asthma leads people to become more vulnerable to harmful bacteria. In other cases, the European Journal of Dentistry cites that medications taken for asthma, such as steroids, can also increase the risk of oral health problems, specifically due to how these medications can irritate the mouth, causing mouth ulcers and thrush.
To best prevent the development of cavities and gum disease, follow these tips:
- Rinse Mouth With Water: If you use a bronchodilator, rinse your mouth out with water to help reduce irritation from your medication. You can also brush your teeth to help remove those irritants further.
- Hydrate Often: Hydrating is crucial for counteracting the effects of dry mouth, one of the main conditions that often lead to cavities and gum disease. Hydrating can help increase saliva, which can wash away any harmful bacteria left over.
- Try New Medications: If your medication is causing dental problems, ask your physician if they can switch out your medication for something less harmful to your teeth.
- Treat Your Allergies: Asthma and allergies are not the same but often go hand in hand. With treating your allergies, you’re less likely to breathe through your mouth.
- Practice Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing daily will help keep your dental hygiene in great shape even with asthma.
Prevent Cavities Through Dental Care
Asthma can be stressful, but know that your dentists are here for you if you experience any signs of cavities, dry mouth, gum disease, or ulcers. Your dentist can prescribe you medications and help find long-term dental plans that meet your needs. Arrange an appointment today to learn more about your available treatments and find long-lasting oral care that will last a lifetime.