Why You Need to Rinse and Spit
Did you know there is a connection between oral health and asthma?
When you use an asthma inhaler that has corticosteroids [CORE-te-coh-STAIR-oids] in it, the medicine can stick to the inside of your mouth. When the medicine stays in your mouth, it may cause problems with your teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks.
Using corticosteroid inhalers can lead to:
- Thrush – a fungal infection on your tongue or cheeks
- Dry mouth
- Gum irritation and swelling
- Cavities (dental caries)
Examples of inhalers that have corticosteroids include:
- Advair Diskus® and Wixela Inhub® (fluticasone/salmeterol)
- AirDuo® (fluticasone/salmeterol)
- ArmonAir™ Digihaler® (fluticasone propionate)
- ARNUITY® ELLIPTA® (fluticasone furoate)
- Asmanex® Twisthaler® (mometasone)
- Dulera® (mometasone/formoterol) HFA
- Fluticasone propionate (generic version of Flovent)
- Pulmicort® Flexhaler® (budesonide)
- QVAR® RediHaler™ (beclomethasone dipropionate)
- Symbicort® (budesonide/formoterol) HFA
If you aren’t sure if your inhaler has a corticosteroid in it, contact your doctor.
The good news is you can keep your mouth healthy! After you use your asthma inhaler, rinse your mouth well with water and spit it out or brush your teeth. If you have a child with asthma, they may be more likely to get cavities, so it is important to teach them to rinse and spit after using their asthma inhaler.
Don’t forget to also floss, brush your teeth twice a day, and limit sugary foods and drinks. See your dentist twice a year so they can make sure your mouth and teeth stay healthy.
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