The headline of this blog post is pretty shocking isn’t it? Many people are unaware of the link between asthma and tooth decay resulting from a dry mouth. Here is some more information from Dr. Christopher A. Murphy and Dr. Lisa P. Howard at Southern Maine Orthodontics.
You may be wondering what does asthma have to do with cavities. When people aren’t easily able to draw in their breath, most people compensate by breathing through their mouths. This causes your mouth to dry out. Insufficient saliva leaves you more vulnerable to decay-causing bacteria because saliva helps to protect and clean your teeth. Moreover, asthma and allergy medications themselves can cause even more dryness on top of mouth breathing. In short, it’s not a good combination.
A study done on children and young adults in Sweden evaluated the links between asthma and cavities. Within the group with asthma, 19 out of 20 kids developed tooth decay. In the group of kids without asthma, only 7 out of 20 developed tooth decay. While this study was conducted on children and young adults with asthma, the results are also applicable to adults.
Although you might not be able to get rid of your asthma, you can take measures to prevent tooth decay. The most important thing you can do is stick to basic oral hygiene guidelines: brushing and flossing at least twice a day and having regular cleaning and check up appointments. Additionally, staying away from sugary food and drinks is another good measure. You can also increase your healthy saliva flow by occasionally sucking on sugarless mints and drinking water regularly.
If you do have asthma, please let our team know by contacting our office so we can best serve you! We are also happy to answer any questions about how asthma can impact your oral health. Thank you for being a valued patient!