Asthma and Your Mouth

Boy with Asthma InhalerIf you are one of the millions of Americans who have asthma, make sure you are aware of the implications for your mouth. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, consider scheduling an exam, cleaning, and X-rays with Dr. Thomas R. Miller. We’ll give you a complete dental checkup and evaluation of your oral health! Call (518) 273-0089.

Asthma is a condition that affects the respiratory system. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder that results in constriction of the airways and a buildup of mucus. Triggered by an allergic reaction, its symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. While there is no cure, an asthma attack is typically easily reversible and treatable with medicine delivered via an inhaler.

According to the CDC, more than 25 million people in the US have the condition (about 1 in 13 individuals). During childhood, it affects boys more than girls (with 11.9% vs. 7.5% respectively). However, as adults, it affects women more than men (9.6% vs. 6.3%). African American children are the most impacted group, with 13.4% affected by the condition.

When it comes to dental health, asthma can have some important considerations. First, due to breathing complications, those who deal with the condition tend to have a higher rate of mouth-breathing. This habit leads to a higher rate of dry mouth, bad breath, and even cavities. Additionally, the medicine used to treat asthma can diminish saliva production, leading to similar symptoms described above (xerostomia and halitosis).

It’s essential to list asthma in your medical history. With this information, we can discuss possible complications with the entire dental team. We may alter treatment depending on your specific symptoms and needs.

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