“My son has breathing treatments (xopenex and pulmicort) due to asthma. He is 3 and already has a few cavities. Can the breathing treatments cause damage to his teeth? We brush, floss and gargle! My daughter is 5 and has never had a cavity!”
Currently there is no research that supports the idea that breathing treatments CAUSE cavities. However, there are other issues that surround children receiving breathing treatments that may lead to an increased risk of cavities. Many children who have breathing issues are not able to breathe well through their nose and tend to be mouth breathers.
When a child constantly breathes through his or her mouth it may lead to inflamed gingival (gum) tissue and may also lead to xerostomia (dry mouth). Saliva is a natural cleansing mechanism for the teeth and when there is a lack of saliva the child may not have this natural cleansing of the teeth. There has been significant research associating xerostomia and an increased risk of cavities.
With all this being said it is difficult to say if the breathing treatments are the reason for the cavities but there are associated issues that may lead to an increased risk of cavities!