Patients With Asthma and How It Affects Their Oral Health
Respiratory diseases have a huge impact on our daily lives. Those who constantly handle respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, and shortness of breath can be incredibly troublesome. However, our oral health is also influenced by many respiratory diseases, and having asthma can contribute to the development of various oral diseases. Asthma occurs within 8% of the US population, and while the connection between these two issues doesn’t appear to have connections, they most certainly do if you think about how our breathing affects our way of life.
Asthma-Related Oral Health Problems
Asthma causes the airways throughout the lungs to constrict, contributing to many other health problems throughout a person’s life. Asthma can create problems with maintaining exercise, lead someone to become more prone to respiratory infections, contribute to depressive thoughts because of the limited airways, and often limit a person’s ability to interact with the world more fully. For their oral health, asthma can contribute to other health problems, including:
- Oral Sores: Many oral sores, or ulcers, are often experienced by asthma patients because of the limits that asthma has with breathing. This creates a higher chance of developing these sores over time, leading to a higher risk of infection.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva production. Those who have difficulties breathing may result in having a dry mouth. A dry mouth prevents the mouth and tongue from washing away harmful bacteria, leading to an increased risk of cavities.
- Thrush: Thrush is the least common condition to occur, but it is a fungal infection caused by the growth of yeast along the inside of the mouth and tongue.
- Cavities: Those who have asthma may also have an increased cavity risk due to the risk of dry mouth and ulcers. Cavities develop when bacteria from the mouth feed on the tooth’s enamel.
- Gum Disease: With an increased risk of cavities and dry mouth, the growth of bacteria can also lead to gum disease.
Among these risks, there is also an increased risk of halitosis, tooth decay, and other various oral issues. Many of these oral conditions can be treated, but some studies have looked further into this increased connection between asthma and oral health issues. According to studies from the Clinical and Molecular Allergy Journal, medications such as bronchodilators and steroids can contribute to oral health problems.
Preventing Oral Health Problems With Proper Care
If you have asthma, we highly recommend that you should see your dentist and if you believe that your medications may be contributing to any oral health problems you may have, speak to your primary care doctor about your prescriptions. Arranging an appointment with your dentist will allow your dentist to design treatment plans that meet your oral health needs and take your condition into account during treatment.