January 9th, 2018
OUR TEAM WANTS TO MAKE SURE that you have healthy teeth for life. That means that whether you’re in braces or you’re finished with treatment, there are some things that you should know about your oral health — including the way that asthma can impact it.
Were you a little surprised by the headline of this blog post? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are unaware of the link between asthma and tooth decay.
What Does Asthma Have To Do With Cavities?
When drawing breath doesn’t come easily, most people compensate by breathing through their mouths. This leads to dry mouth. When there’s not enough saliva to protect and clean your teeth, you’re left more vulnerable to decay-causing bacteria. In addition, some people compound the problem by sipping on sugary drinks all day trying to quench the dryness!
As if that weren’t enough, asthma and allergy medications themselves can cause even more dryness on top of the mouth breathing. Not a good combination.
Some Evidence — But It’s Not Just About Kids
A Swedish study of children and young adults with similar backgrounds and habits evaluated the links between asthma and caries. In the group of asthma-free kids, only 7 out of 20 developed tooth decay. Within the group with asthma, however, 19 out of 20 kids developed tooth decay. Although the study above centered around kids with asthma, the risks also apply to adults.
What You Can Do About It
Asthma may not have a simple fix, but tooth decay does. First and foremost, stick faithfully to the basics. Brush especially carefully while you’re in braces — at least twice a day. Floss to clean the places in your mouth where brushing misses. Keep your scheduled cleaning and checkup appointments. Avoid foods and drinks that are most harmful to your teeth.
And specific to the issue of dry mouth, here are some tips for increased, healthy saliva flow:
- Chew sugar-free gum.
- Occasionally suck on sugar-free mints.
- Drink plenty of water.
One More Special Note About Asthma
If you have asthma, please let our team know! The more we know about your health the better. It helps us advise and serve you better. If you have any questions about how asthma can impact your oral health, please ask us! We’re honored to be your resource.
If you have questions about your teeth, bite, or cavities, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California for a free orthodontic examination. Find us at www.clubbraces.com or call us at (925) 757-9000.