Long-term use of asthma control medication may be associated with tooth wear, according to a study published in the Journal of Asthma.

The data of 2186 adolescents and young adults from the 2003 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were examined. Self-administered questionnaires were used to identify patients who had asthma and those who were taking long-term asthma control medications.

Medications included in this study were inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting β-agonists, and leukotriene modifiers. The number of surfaces with tooth wear, the study’s primary outcome, was determined during clinical examinations.

In this cohort, 1068 participants (58%) had tooth wear, and 232 (10.3%) had asthma, and 61 (2.9%) were taking long-term medications for asthma. Tooth wear was observed in 58% of participants (average, 6.1 tooth surfaces in those with tooth wear).

Continue Reading

Related Articles

No association was established between asthma and tooth wear in an adjusted regression analysis. The use of long-term asthma control medication was found to be associated with greater odds of having tooth wear (odds ratio, 3.33; 95% CI, 1.24-8.97; P <.05), but not with the number of surfaces with tooth wear (rate ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.58-1.75).

Limitations of the study include its cross-sectional nature, and the reliance on self-reports for the identification of asthma diagnoses and medication use.

“Dental professionals should be aware of a possible association between asthma medication and tooth wear and should look for evidence of tooth wear among patients [with asthma] under long-term control medications,” concluded the study authors.


Goswami U, O’Toole S, Bernabé E. Asthma, long-term asthma control medication and tooth wear in American adolescents and young adults [published online April 2, 2020]. J Asthma. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2020.1745228