Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a condition that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to difficulty breathing. It is well known that asthma triggers can come from a variety of sources, such as pollen, pollution, and other environmental factors. However, did you know that oral health can also play a significant role in asthma management? In this blog post, we will explore the connection between asthma and oral health.
Studies show that people with asthma are more likely to develop gum disease than those without asthma. Gum disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bones that support the teeth, and it can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. This is because the inflammation in the airways caused by asthma can also affect the gums. Furthermore, some of the medications used to treat asthma can have side effects that increase the risk of gum disease.
Breathing through the mouth is a common symptom of asthma, especially during an attack. However, this can lead to dry mouth, which is a condition that reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is essential for a healthy mouth because it helps to wash away food particles and neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay. When there is not enough saliva, the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues increases.
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth and throat. People with asthma are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush because the medications used to treat asthma can weaken the immune system. Furthermore, the inhalers used to deliver medication can leave residue in the mouth, providing a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition that causes the grinding, clenching, or gnashing of teeth. People with asthma may be more likely to grind their teeth because asthma attacks can cause tension and stress, which can translate into clenching and grinding during sleep. Teeth grinding can lead to a host of oral health issues, such as tooth sensitivity, cracked teeth, and jaw pain.
Proper oral care is essential for people with asthma because it can help to prevent oral health issues and reduce the risk of respiratory infections. This includes brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Additionally, people with asthma should rinse their mouth with water after using their inhaler to reduce the risk of dry mouth and oral thrush.
Asthma and oral health are closely linked. People with asthma are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, dry mouth, oral thrush, and teeth grinding. However, by practicing proper oral hygiene and working closely with your dentist, you can reduce the risk of these issues and improve your overall health. At Park 56 Dental, we are dedicated to helping our patients maintain healthy mouths and bodies. If you have asthma or any other respiratory condition, please let us know so that we can provide you with the best possible care.