Role of Asthma Inhaler in Tooth Decay and Dental Erosion

Use of Anti-asthmatic Inhalers has been linked to Dental Erosion, Dry Mouth, increased risk of caries, periodontal disease and in some cases Oral Candidiasis (due to use of Corticosteriods). The side effects of the inhalers are caused due to the various types of drugs used for Asthma such as – Inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled beta2-agonists, inhaled anticholinergic drugs. Along with the effects of these drugs due to asthma there is reduced salivary flow and decrease in total protein, amylase, hexosamine, salivary peroxidase, lysozyme and secretory IgA which adds to the drug induced Xerostomia.

Effects of Asthma on Oral Health is directly related to Saliva. Saliva is made up of Water along with organic and inorganic components which act as lubricants in Mastication, protecting tooth structure and helping favorable micro-organisms to grow. There are over 700 types of bacterial species in Oral environment with the most common type being Firmicutes. Saliva helps in maintaining neutral pH in the oral cavity around 7.67 which prevents caries formation. The use of Inhaler reduces the pH of the oral cavity which increases caries risk along with the reduction in saliva flow leading to increase in dental plaque index and high Caries.

Effect of Asthma inhaler on teeth erosion and decay

The Symptoms to look out for to know if teeth are effected due to Inhaler use: 

  • Increased sensitivity on hot or cold
  • The surface of the tooth feels rough on running your tongue on top of them
  • Brown spots on surface of the teeth
  • Increased Dryness of the mouth

According to certain Studies it is seen that, Asthma medication in the powder form leaves a residue on the surface of the teeth when inhaled, due to the acidic nature of the medication it can lead to Tooth Decay. Use of Asthma inhaler with a spacer helps in preventing the Medicine to come in contact with the teeth surface. Using Inhaler without a Spacer causes the powder to flood the mouth and not go directly into the lungs which leads to the deposition on the tooth surface.

Precautions to be taken while using Asthma Inhaler to prevent Tooth Decay, Erosion, etc.

  • Use a Spacer while using an Inhaler.
  • Always rinse your mouth after using the Inhaler (water or Fluoridated mouthwash)
  • Brush your teeth two times per day
  • Get regular Dental Check ups and mention to the dentist about the Inhaler use
  • Wait for 60 minutes before brushing after using an inhaler as acidic effect on tooth will make the surface of the tooth more prone to wear and tear of brushing.


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