Asthma and Oral Health

Asthmatic adults and children have a tendency to be mouth breathers, which whenphoenix_cosmetic_dentist_tips combined with asthma medications, such as corticosteriods, causes a decreased saliva flow, known as dry mouth. Without saliva’s cleansing effects, asthma patients have a higher risk for increased cavities and bad breath. In those that aren’t vigilant about brushing and flossing, gums can become inflamed, oftentimes leading to gum disease.

Also, asthma inhalers may irritate the back roof of the mouth, causing a reddish lesion, which creates an infection that if ignored, can spread and affect the throat and rest of the mouth, explains John M. Coke, DDS, lead author of this study that appears in the November/December 2002 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy’s clinical, peer-reviewed publication.

“Patients who have a history of asthma and experience dental anxiety need to tell their dentist about their disease,” advises AGD spokesperson Eric Z. Shapira, DDS, MAGD. “Doing so can help prevent an asthmatic attack during dental procedures.”

Here are some additional tips from Dr. Ford:

  • Inform dentist of your condition
  • Explain if your asthma is controlled
  • Inform your dentist of all asthma and other medications
  • After inhaler use, rinse your mouth with water
  • Ask you dentist about sealants
  • Be vigilant about brushing and flossing

 

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