More than 20 million Americans suffer from asthma. Unfortunately, the medications commonly used to treat asthma can lead to an increased risk of developing dental caries, bad breath and gum disease.
It’s particularly important for asthma sufferers to see a dentist regularly and take proper care of their oral health. The medications used in asthma inhalers can lead to decreased saliva production and a condition known as dry mouth. Without enough saliva to fight harmful bacteria, your teeth and gums are much more susceptible to dental decay and periodontal disease.
Asthma inhalers have also been known to irritate the back roof of the mouth and cause a reddish lesion that, if left alone, can become infected. Asthma medications may also contribute to the development of Candidiasis, known colloquially as Thrush. Thrush usually appears as white patches in the mouth with a red rash underneath that’s usually painful.
If you suffer from asthma, there are a few ways you can keep your asthma in check while also promoting your oral health.
- Tell your dentist that you have asthma and talk to him or her about the factors that bring on asthma attacks.
- Let your dentist know what medications you’re taking for asthma.
- After you use an inhaler, rinse your mouth out with water.
- Consider using a spacer to help medications reach your lungs instead of settling in your mouth.
- Brush twice a day and floss once.
To learn more about how you can take care of your oral health and still manage your asthma, contact Greenspoint Dental today to set up an appointment with Dr. Bossé.