Can asthma affect your oral health? |

Can asthma affect your oral health?

John Bocchi
John Bocchi

About the author

Dr. John Bocchi can be reached at 775-588-8484 or

Asthma is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease that causes airways to narrow and difficulty breathing. While there is no cure for asthma, there are several treatments that can re-open airways for better breathing. However, at Sierra Smiles Tahoe, we also know these medications, and asthma itself, can cause oral health concerns.

The Connection

Asthma sufferers tend to also be mouth breathers suffering from dry mouth. This occurs when not enough saliva is produced to moisten the mouth and rinse away decay-causing bacteria. There’s also evidence to support a correlation between asthma and gum disease. According to one study, patients with gum disease were five times more likely to have asthma.

What to Do

There are several ways you can protect your smile against the adverse effects of asthma and its common treatments.

Fight Off Anxiety: If you suffer from asthma and have a history of dental anxiety, let us know. The best way to overcome dental fear is to communicate with your dentist. You can also ease anxiety pre-appointment by:

Avoiding caffeine

Practicing deep breathing

Eating something high in protein

Picking an appointment time when you won’t feel rushed

Water: Drinking plenty of water everyday keeps your mouth moist, hydrated, and ready to fight off unwanted bacteria.

More Water: After using an asthma treatment like an inhaler, rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthrinse. Asthma medications containing drying ingredients, so the sooner you rinse them out, the better.

Everyone at our dental office is here to keep you healthy. If there’s anything we can do to help make you more relaxed at your visits, let us know. If there are any concerns you have about asthma treatment, or any medication that may influence your oral health, we encourage you to talk to us about it!

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