There’s been a common misconception that health concerns tend to affect only one distinct area of our body. The more that we learn about our health, the more we realize that the truth is that our health is a system situation, with health concerns in one body producing symptoms and causing concerns in other parts of the body. Asthma is one example of a health condition that has side effects that reach beyond the tissues it affects directly. Understanding the way asthma and oral health are connected is essential to the 8% of Americans that live with this condition.
Difficulty With Breathing Is Just One Of the Problems Caused By Asthma
While it may not seem intuitive that our oral health and our lung health are in any way connected, it becomes clearer when you realize that every breath passes through our mouth and nose. The condition of our respiratory health, therefore, has a direct effect on the health of our lungs. This means that health concerns like asthma can increase the likelihood that we experience oral health concerns.
- Dry Mouth – The restriction of breathing experienced by asthma patients often causes them to breathe rapidly through their mouth. This rapid passage of air can result in the drying of the saliva in our mouths. Saliva has a central role to play in the prevention of decay, so its absence can cause problems.
- Oral Sores – Asthma medications used by those suffering from asthma are known to produce oral ulcers in some patients. Attempting to perform proper oral hygiene around these ulcers can be painful and often difficult.
- Thrush – An oral infection of yeast can produce a condition known as thrush. Breathing through the mouth and the resulting lack of saliva increases the likelihood of this condition.
Tooth decay, halitosis, and periodontal disease are all known concerns that can affect asthma sufferers as a result of their condition. While the above conditions are common culprits in worsening oral health, there are steps that can be taken to lessen their frequency. One condition that patients with asthma tend to struggle with is allergies. This condition affects their breathing and can cause them to have more frequent asthma attacks.
Asthma Related Oral Health Concerns And How To Avoid Them
There are steps that asthma sufferers can take to preserve their oral health against the conditions. The most important part of this defense is a consistent and thorough oral hygiene practice that involves thorough brushing twice a day, using mouthwash, and flossing. Maintaining regular dental visits is also essential so that your dentist can observe any concerns that may develop. The best way to help protect your oral health when suffering from asthma is to rinse your mouth after every use of the inhaler.