If you have asthma, then you know that it is more than just a respiratory condition. Having asthma means that you’re also at more risk of having dental problems than most. For those with this condition, the constant inflammation attacks, the buildup of mucus throughout the sinuses, and restricted airflow overall can cause the mouth to become more prone to bacteria, and that can come with a whole slew of dental issues that can make your mouth feel and look terrible. Their healthcare providers must give them special care for those with this condition regarding their teeth and gums. We’re here to help expand on those risks and help you find better ways of managing your condition by including your dentist in your asthma care.
Common Oral Conditions With Asthma
When the airways swell, this chronic lung condition can cause wheezing, coughing, and tightness throughout the chest. All of these symptoms can make it hard to breathe and can be costly for your overall health. For many pulmonary doctors, because there’s no cure for this condition, some of the ways that asthma can be managed through medication, understanding asthma triggers, and other preventative methods. However, asthma is also costly to your oral health.
When the airways begin to constrict, the inflammatory response can cause harmful responses to the mouth’s ability to manage bacteria. Studies from the European Journal of Dentistry found that those with asthma have issues maintaining saliva due to the effects of medication and due to persistent asthma attacks. As saliva depletes more and more, the mouth cannot wash away food particles and bacteria that build up over time. Often, this is due to the interaction of bronchodilators, but for some, having consistent asthma attacks due to airway triggers can cause the saliva to deplete and bacteria to grow. When this bacteria has no avenue to be washed away, it can cause a lot of dental problems to occur, including:
- Dry Mouth: Most often, dry mouth is the result of depleting saliva amounts. When the saliva depletes, the dry mouth becomes a primary condition that leads to poor oral health overall.
- Halitosis: Often resulting from dry mouth, having poor saliva amounts can lead to foul odors even with brushing and flossing.
- Thrush: In the worst cases, when bacteria cannot be washed away, thrush causes white lesions along with the tongue and inner cheeks.
- Oral Sores: Constant biting of the inner cheeks, eating acidic foods, and poor saliva development can lead to sores along the inside of the mouth.
- Tooth Decay: Overall, the bacteria can turn it into plaque, and that plaque can eat away at the enamel and cause the teeth to decay.
- Gum Disease: The bacteria along the gums can also infect the gum tissues and cause gum disease, which can advance into periodontal disease and lead to bone loss.
Contact Your Dentist For Next Steps
Your dentist can be able to help provide you with advice and treatment options for helping you maintain your oral health with asthma. For more information about how to help treat your asthma and have good oral health, cooperating with your ENT doctor and your dentist will be able to provide you with the best solutions towards better health.