The dentists of Drs. Ressler, Hirschl, and Lelchuk’s Miami practice are a vital part of each patient’s medical care team. People with asthma face some particular oral health challenges, and to help them practice preventive care, we want them to understand why they may be especially at risk for developing cavities.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a major contributor to enamel imperfections. We depend on saliva to wash away food debris and to keep our mouths at a pH level that allows enamel to remineralize. But people with asthma easily develop dry mouth because they are likelier to breathe through their mouths and it is also a common side-effect of some asthma medications. Patients should consult with their asthma specialist before changing medications, but they can counter dry mouth by drinking more water, using throat moisturizers, chewing sugar-free gum, and by using humidifiers.
Other factors specifically impacting asthma patients are acid reflux and the sugar content of medications. Because asthma causes restrictions in the throat, some patients are prescribed muscles relaxants. These relaxants risk opening the sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus, allowing stomach acid into the mouth, where it erodes enamel. Some oral medications may also contain lactose. Patients who are conscious of this may use fluoridated mouth rinse after taking medications and avoid foods that exacerbate acid reflux, such as onions, red meat, and caffeine. Chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow can also help neutralize acid.
Dr. Allen Ressler, Dr. Andrew Hirschl, and Dr. Ira Lelchuk operate from two locations. To schedule an appointment at the location at Mount Sinai Medical Center, 4300 Alton Road, Suite 1190, Miami Beach, Florida, 33140, call 305-532-1444. To schedule an appointment at Intracoastal Mall, 3909 NE 163rdSt, Suite 310, North Miami Beach, Florida, 33160, call 305-949-2630. They can also be reached on their website, Miami Dental through a contact form.