Comparision of oral manifestations and salivary characteristics of asthmatic patients with healthy adults
Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes airways constriction with excess mucus production. The effects of asthma & its medication on oral health is a subject of concern. Hence, patients with bronchial asthma on medication should receive special prophylactic attention.Objectives: To assess the incidence of caries, salivary flow rate, salivary pH & periodontal changes, xerostomia and taste alteration among the asthmatics who are on inhalers and to compare the oral and dental manifestation among asthmatic and non-asthmatics. Also, to study xerostomia, taste alteration and periodontal changes with duration of medication among asthmatics. Materials & Methods: Study consisted of 100 asthmatic subjects and 100 age & gender matched controls. The subjective symptoms like xerostomia and taste alteration were recorded using questionnaire. Oral examination was carried out to record DMFT scores for caries and CPITN index for periodontal status. Salivary flow rate & pH were assessed by modified Schirmer’s test & pH strip. Smear test followed by PAS staining were carried out to assess Candida. Results: In asthmatics, the mean DMFT, CPITN score was 4.52±2.5, 2.34±0.97 while in healthy adults it was 2.2±1.81, 1.32±0.08, which were significantly higher. Salivary flow rate & pH in asthmatics was 23.89±3.99ml/3 mins and 6.48±0.43 which was lower than in controls (27.37±3.99ml/3min and 6.92±0.2). 54% asthmatics had xerostomia & 79% had taste alterations.Conclusion: Asthmatics using ICS for longer duration had high dental caries, periodontal diseases, low salivary flow rate & pH than the controls. Measures such as promoting oral hygiene practices as well as regular periodic dental check-ups, dietary modification should be encouraged.