If you use inhalers to manage your asthma, you may notice a knock-on effect on your oral health. Some asthma medications may contain acids that can erode your teeth; these medicines may also give you a drier mouth which reduces your levels of protective saliva. This, in turn, may make you more prone to tooth decay and even gum disease. To prevent your medication from damaging your teeth and gums, you can use the following steps:
Maintain excellent oral hygiene
If there is a chance that your asthma medications may pose a threat to your teeth and gums, you want to reduce the possibility of damage by keeping on top of your dental hygiene routine as much as you can. The first thing you should do is to make sure that you brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and that you floss regularly. If your medications are giving you dry mouth syndrome, it may also be worth visiting a dental clinic to ask about specialist toothpastes and mouthwashes that can bring more saliva into your mouth.
Rinse after using inhalers
If your asthma inhalers leave a residue on your teeth after you use them, then this residue may increase your chances of developing problems with dental erosion. The easiest way to stop this from happening is to rinse your mouth out with water after you use an inhaler. The water will wash away any residue left from the medication, preventing it from doing too much harm to your teeth.
Inform your dentist about your asthma
It's also important to make sure that your dentist is aware that you have asthma and that you tell your dentist which medications you use in your inhalers. Your dentist will then be able to assess any problems that might arise, giving you additional advice on dental hygiene if you need it. For example, your dentist may recommend that you chew sugar-free gum after using an inhaler. These gums can help wash the teeth clean and make you produce more saliva — this may help you avoid problems with dental erosion.
If your dentist feels that your asthma medication is causing problems with your teeth that you can't control yourself, your dentist may recommend that you talk to your doctor about whether you can switch to a different medicine. Bear in mind that you shouldn't stop taking your asthma medications unless your GP tells you to.