How Childhood Asthma Impacts Their Overall Oral Health
Childhood asthma can present numerous problems for that child’s health, as it is a serious condition that impacts all aspects of their lives. However, for their oral health, asthma can increase the risk of oral diseases such as cavities, gum disease, and ulcers because of the constant exposure and difficulties restricted airways bring to those children. As pediatric dentists, we understand that their mouths are often the gateway to every part of their health when it comes to a child’s health. If you find yourself wondering how your child may be more susceptible to oral diseases, then we are here to provide as many answers as possible to help you care for your child’s oral health and give them the best possible experience with their oral care.
How Childhood Asthma Impacts Their Teeth
Asthma is one of the most common conditions throughout the US, as 8% of the total population has this condition. Wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing are prominent symptoms to affect children at such as young age. These constricted airways often lead children to become more susceptible to chronic respiratory diseases such as the flu, chronic bronchitis, and allergies. These symptoms present even more risk for children due to the vulnerability that this condition presents to their immune system and metabolism. However, for their oral health, it presents a problem of offsetting conditions that are least expected.
Because of the nature of asthma, children with asthma also have a higher risk of developing oral diseases, often due to the constant wheezing, coughing, and breathing problems. Among the various issues that asthma brings, these are some of the most common oral diseases that increase in risk for children with asthma:
- Cavities: Cavities can often occur in children with asthma, even when excluding sugary foods and drinks. Because of how asthma compromises the immune system, this condition often leads children more prone to bacteria development along with the enamel of their teeth.
- Gum Disease: As that bacteria continues to develop, gum disease can also occur, causing those strains to infect the gum tissue and infiltrate into the bloodstream.
- Halitosis: Consistent coughing and wheezing can cause halitosis to develop, or chronic bad breath, due to insufficient saliva production.
- Dry Mouth: Alongside halitosis, dry mouth can also develop, creating a harmful environment that leaves the teeth more prone to decay.
How Dental Preventative Treatment Can Help
As for the studies that support this connection, studies from the European Journal of Dentistry have observed how medications, including bronchodilators and steroids, can cause oral health problems to increase. For us, assessing the medications prescribed to your children and adjusting our treatments is how we can help reduce their risk of oral health problems and give them healthy, long-standing oral care that will last throughout their lifetime. It’s important to visit your child’s pediatric dentist to ensure that they receive quality oral care that meets their needs and yours by extension.