Do you have asthma? Did you know it could affect your teeth and gums? An estimated 20 million Americans have this condition, and many are taking medications which could affect their oral health. The medicines used to control asthma can increase the risk of bad breath, gum disease and cavities. In addition, the Academy of General Dentistry has reported many patients fail to remember to bring their inhalers with them to dental visits, increasing the number of in-office asthma attacks.
How Does Asthma Affect Oral Health?
Quite often people with asthma will tend to breathe through their mouth rather than through their nose. The medications used to control asthma include corticosteroids which can lead to decreased saliva production creating a condition called dry mouth. Saliva is extremely important for keeping the mouth moist and clean, and patients with dry mouth have a higher risk of developing tooth decay and bad breath. The problem is even worse for people who aren’t especially vigilant about brushing and flossing, as gums can soon become inflamed and infected due to gum disease.
The inhalers used to control asthma can also irritate the roof of the mouth, right at the back, and when this happens it can cause a reddish looking lesion. If this isn’t treated then it can become infected and may affect the rest of the mouth and throat.
Asthma sufferers should talk to their dental office about this condition. Your dentist will want to know if the asthma is controlled, as well as any medications being used. It’s important to be vigilant about brushing and flossing, and rinse your mouth every time you use your inhaler, or use fluoride mouthwash. Even though asthma sufferers may be more vulnerable to developing dental problems, vigilant dental care at home and professional dental care at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center can greatly reduce these risks.
Nervous Asthma Patients Should Talk to Their Dentist
If you have asthma and are slightly nervous about visiting the dentist, it’s important to talk to the dental team at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center and to let us know you have these issues. We can take measures to help prevent an asthma attack during dental treatment, and one way to do this is to improve communications between the dentist and patient. Knowing you are properly cared for can greatly help to ease anxieties.
There are also various measures you can take to help reduce anxiety such as carrying out a few simple deep breathing techniques before an appointment, and focusing on breathing properly during treatment. Quite often nervous patients will hold their breath, which lowers oxygen levels and increases the chances of feeling panicky. Avoid caffeine before an appointment, and choose high-protein foods as these have a calming effect. Book your appointment for a time when you feel more relaxed, such as later in the afternoon or evening when you don’t need to rush back to work or school. Make sure you have your inhaler with you just in case you have an asthma attack. You can rest assured that if you do have an tack, we will do everything possible to keep you calm, safe and comfortable.Leave a reply →