Asthmatic? The Importance Of Seeing Your Dentist Regularly
If you or one of your children suffer from asthma, you already understand the importance of being vigilant and careful in what you do on a day-to-day basis. You avoid places and things that will aggravate your symptoms, take your medication as needed, and eat healthily. However, you may not be aware of the special considerations you need to take regarding your dental health. In addition to performing daily dental care and seeing the dentist regularly, there are a few additional things that you to be aware of when you have asthma.
People with asthma breathe through their mouth more often than those without it, causing dry mouth. Added to that is the fact that some asthma medications also contribute to a lack of saliva. The first step in rinsing food particles and bacteria away from teeth is saliva. When you suffer from dry mouth, you need to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth more often to prevent cavities from forming and to stop gum disease from occurring. If you notice your gums are becoming inflamed, it is important you see your dentist as soon as possible, even if you are not scheduled for an appointment for a few months. Quick treatment will save you from needing more invasive teeth and gum cleaning to avoid tooth decay and loss.
Regular use of an inhaler can cause small sores on the back of your mouth, which can become infected. This infection can easily travel to your teeth and gums and can also spread down your throat. If you have a sore throat, the cause may be these lesions. You will need to check with your medical doctor for treatment, but you also need to see the dentist to make sure your dental health was not compromised. To reduce the risk of these lesions occurring, rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash after using the inhaler; you can carry a small bottle with you. If this is not possible, be sure to rinse well with water.
Going to the dentist causes anxiety in some people. This may trigger an asthma attack. For this reason, you may be tempted to skip an appointment or two. However, because of asthma, you need to be sure to keep all your appointments if you want to keep a healthy mouth. Be sure to take your inhaler in case of an attack, but don't worry, the dentist will rinse your mouth afterwards for you.
If you have more questions about how asthma can affect your dental health, contact a dentist like C. James Goodwin, DDS, PLLC.