Can Asthma Cause Gum Disease? The Link Between Asthma and Oral Health


The link between Asthma and Oral Health has not been talked about very much … let’s dive into this topic!
Affecting over 235 million people worldwide, asthma is prevalent in a high percentage of our current population. Out of those 235 million, one fifth of them will experience gum disease.
But, how is gum disease linked to asthma?

Asthma & Dry Mouth

Asthma is described as an inflammatory disease of the lower respiratory tract. It can cause inflammation and narrowing of the airway and often leads to coughing, wheezing, excess mucus production, and tightening of the chest. When your airflow is restricted by asthma, you will probably breathe out of your mouth to get more oxygen to your brain. When this happens, you reduce your saliva production and your saliva glands don’t work as well as they should.

Saliva is extremely important to your mouth’s overall health. It helps wash away all the bad bacteria in your mouth throughout the day. When the bacteria can’t get washed out properly, bacteria can multiply and cause a build-up of plaque and tartar in your mouth. This isn’t a good thing for your oral health.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh), refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Learn more about Dry Mouth HERE.

Related Article: Health Risks of Gum Disease: Healthy Teeth are more than a Pretty Smile

What You Can Do

Avoiding asthma triggers can be difficult, and there are three main types of asthma with their own sets of triggers – allergy-induced asthma, occupational asthma, and exercise-induced asthma. Therefore, depending on your doctor’s recommendations, it may be best to avoid the following triggers to reduce inflammation and dry mouth:

  • Allergens – dander, pollen, pests, etc.
  • Smoke fumes, gases, dust.
  • Exercise and strenuous activity.

If you have asthma, an asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to “asthma triggers.” Learn more about Asthma Triggers, we’re explaining it HERE.

Maintain a Healthy Smile

Did you realize that there’s a link between asthma and oral health? Many people with asthma treat their symptoms with inhalers. While an inhaler is great for your lungs, it isn’t so great for your oral health. Try washing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth after using your inhaler to help keep harmful bacteria out of your mouth. Some inhalers include sugar as a sweetener and can lead to cavities and bacteria. You can also talk with your doctor and dentist about any advice they have about maintaining good oral health with asthma.

We also suggest keeping hydrated throughout the day with water to keep your dry mouth symptoms at bay. Water can also help wash away the bad bacteria and any food particles in place of saliva.

When you don’t make enough saliva, your mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, many treatments can help against dry mouth. Learn more about Dry Mouth Causes, Risks, and Treatment HERE.

Learn More about Gum Disease: Periodontal Disease: Prevention of Gum Disease and Treatment

It’s Safe to Visit Your Dentist Today!

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), no cases of COVID-19 have been attributed to any U.S. dental practices. This is a wonderful statistic for dental offices and shows how serious dental offices have taken their safety measures. It’s safe and essential to visit your dentist’s office, and we take your health and safety very seriously. We can’t wait to see you soon! Please call today to schedule your next appointment.

Related Article: WELCOME BACK: We are OPEN for Dental Appointments

Schedule your appointment to meet with any of our skilled dentists at one of our three conveniently located dental office locations within the Kansas City area, including Lee’s Summit / Independence, the Country Club Plaza and Downtown Kansas City. The gentle dentists and expert team at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates look forward to working with you to treat your dental emergency, achieve proper oral health and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are happy to review your policy! Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment and become part of our dental family.