Gum disease can be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Initially characterised by gums that appear red and inflamed, bleeding when brushing teeth or ongoing problems with bad breath, symptoms can progress and eventually lead to tooth loss and a range of other problems. It’s vitally important to work to prevent gum disease, and to treat symptoms as soon as you spot them. To help with this, it’s helpful to know if you are in a group that is potentially at increased risk. Recent research has highlighted a potential relationship between those who suffer from asthma, and gum disease. If you, or someone you know has asthma, it’s worth being extra vigilant about the possibility of gum disease occurring.
The Oral Health Foundation have recently reported on research which looked, in detail, at the possible relationship between gum disease and oral health, and asthma. Their findings revealed that those people who suffer from asthma were nearly one fifth (18.8%) more likely to also be affected by gum disease. Asthma rates in the UK are high and, at the moment, 5.4 million are receiving treatment for the condition.
These research findings follow in the footsteps of several other recent studies which have found links between oral health and other health problems. Other research has found a relationship with heart disease and diabetes, for example. It would seem that asthma can now be added to this list.
Whilst knowing that you are at increased risk of developing gum disease may be alarming, there are lots of steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of experiencing such oral health problems. Maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine is key. Brush your teeth twice a day, opting for a fluoride toothpaste. It’s a good idea to also use interdental toothbrushes so that you can reach the areas between your teeth, and prevent food particles from becoming trapped there. It’s important to keep up your regular visits to the dentist, and to seek advice or raise concerns if you notice any changes.
If you’re interested to know more about the link between asthma and gum disease, you may be interested in the research paper, which was published in the Journal of Periodontology. The Oral Health Foundation also have more information on their website about the research, about gum disease, and the steps that you can take to prevent it and maintain good oral health.