Drug Treatments For Asthma May Cause Erosive Tooth Damage

September 18, 1998

(Drug treatments for asthma may cause erosive tooth damage)

Elizabeth O'Sullivan and Martin Curzon from the Department of Paediatric Dentistry at Leeds Dental Institute suggest that some drug treatments for asthma may be causing tooth erosion in children. In their letter published in this week's BMJ, the authors give "early warning" that children using asthma drugs in a powdered (rather than aerosol) form may be prone to increased dissolution of the enamel surfaces of their teeth. This is because the powdered form of the drug is more acidic.

The authors suggest that as more children are now using the powdered form of asthma drugs, doctors should advise children to rinse their mouths with water directly after taking the drugs as well as encouraging them to clean their teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. They hope that such procedures will help prevent dental erosion and the wider psychological and financial implicaitons that may ensue.

Elizabeth O'Sullivan, Senior Registrar, Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Leeds Dental Institute, Leeds.


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