How a Dry Mouth in Asthma Affects Your Teeth

If you have asthma, then you may also have problems with a dry mouth. For some asthma sufferers this happens because they tend to breathe through their mouths rather than their noses; in some cases, inhaler medications may dry the mouth out as well. While you may simply think that a dry mouth is an uncomfortable side effect that you have to live with, this condition can also affect your oral health.

For example, if you can't keep enough saliva in your mouth, you may have problems dealing with oral bacteria which is managed in part by your saliva. This could give you bad breath and increase the likelihood that you could develop problems with your teeth and gums. While brushing and flossing as you should can go some way to help deal with these problems, you may also need to find some ways to make your mouth more moist again. These three tips may help.

Chew sugar-free gum

Chewing sugar-free gum makes your mouth automatically produce saliva. This can help reduce the dryness you feel, making your mouth more comfortable. The saliva that the gum produces can also help protect your teeth and keep them clean from bacteria. This is also useful after you eat or after you use your inhaler — gum can counteract the effects of acids on your teeth, making them less harmful.

Stay hydrated

If your mouth is not producing as much saliva as it needs, you need to make sure that you drink enough to keep it hydrated and moist. It's also a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after using an inhaler. If you aren't producing enough saliva to wash any medication off your teeth, the medication may start to erode them. A quick rinse should solve this problem.

Get professional advice

If you've noticed that your asthma is making your mouth dry, then it's worth mentioning the problem to your doctor and dentist. If you have a significant problem, your doctor may recommend that you use an artificial saliva substitute; they may also be able to give you advice on how to modify your diet to include foods that make your mouth less dry. From a dental perspective, your dentist may be able to point you in the direction of dental products that can help deal with a dry mouth. For example, you can use toothpastes and rinses that boost saliva production, and it may be worth incorporating these products into your daily dental routine.