Respiratory Conditions

Overview

Respiratory conditions are medical conditions that affect the lungs and someone’s ability to breathe. Some respiratory conditions are genetic while others are caused by lifestyle or environmental factors. Common respiratory conditions include asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. Respiratory conditions can have an adverse effect on your oral health. For example, people suffering from certain respiratory diseases may be using anti-inflammatory medications, which means they can experience a dry mouth, an increase in plaque and gingivitis development and be more susceptible to yeast and fungal infections.

Asthma is a respiratory condition where a person’s airways become inflamed and swollen making it difficult to breathe. This condition is controlled using medication but sometimes the medications have side effects that affect your oral health. Strong anti-inflammatory medicines can cause dry mouth and also make you more susceptible to oral fungal infections. One way to prevent fungal infections is to rinse your mouth with water after taking your medication.

Sleep apnoea is a respiratory condition where you stop breathing during sleep. It is caused by an obstruction in your airway during sleep. This obstruction can be because of the shape and position of the tongue or the soft tissues of the mouth. Sleep apnoea can cause serious cardiovascular problems, so it is important to talk to your dentist if you think you are experiencing it.