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How to Protect Your Teeth and Gums If You Use Inhalers

Posted on 4/26/2021 by Dr. Burnham
How to Protect Your Teeth and Gums If You Use InhalersInhalers can damage the teeth and gums. Therefore, you need to be cognizant of this if you use an inhaler to treat a condition, such as asthma.

How Inhalers Can Affect Dental Health

Because asthma affects 1 in 12 people in the U.S., it is a condition that needs to be considered if you seek dental treatment. That is because the use of an inhaler can impact tooth and gum care. If you use an inhaler, you increase your chance of developing dental decay and mouth sores. By knowing about this risk, you can use an inhaler with more discretion and care.

How Do Inhalers Work

Reliever inhalers open the airways and deliver medicine directly to the respiratory tract. This makes it easier for a patient to breathe. Inhalers are used for asthma as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD. They make it possible for anyone wheezing or experiencing breathlessness to receive the needed respiratory relief.

Specific Dental Problems Inhalers Cause

If an inhaler is used to treat asthma, it may also irritate the back of the mouth's roof. In turn, a reddish sore can develop and become infected. If this happens, it can affect a patient's mouth and throat. When regularly used, an inhaler can also trigger dry mouth. Because asthma restricts airflow, a patient not only will breathe through the mouth, but the medication in the inhaler will also further dry out the oral cavity. You need saliva to wash away harmful plaque and germs. Without a regular flow of saliva, you can develop cavities, gum disease, and halitosis. Moreover, the irritants from an inhaler can lead to mouth ulcers and thrush.

Protecting Your Gums and Teeth

If you use an inhaler for asthma or COPD, make sure you rinse out your mouth with water after each use. It also helps to brush your teeth. Make sure you drink water throughout the day to lessen any effects of dry mouth. You may also want to ask your medical provider about switching out your inhaler to one that will not place your teeth at risk.

Do you have asthma or COPD? If so, we can help you with any dental-related complaints. Give us a call to schedule an appointment now.

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