If your nasal septum is deviated to one side as a result of an injury or congenital defect, you may have trouble breathing. Also, your sense of smell may be diminished, and you may not be able to taste your food. In addition to these common symptoms, a deviated septum can lead to problems with your gums and teeth. Here are three ways a deviated septum can affect your oral health and what you can do about them:
Because a deviated septum can affect your pattern of breathing, you may be forced to breathe through your mouth. This can lead to oral dryness and bleeding gums. A dry mouth can also heighten your risk for gingivitis because you don't have adequate salivary flow to wash away oral bacteria.
If you develop bleeding gums as a result of your deviated septum, maintain a meticulous regimen of brushing and flossing, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help maintain oral hydration.
A deviated septum can raise your risk for a bacterial sinus infection. A septal deviation hinders sinus drainage, and because of this, microorganisms can accumulate inside your nasal passages. If infected nasal secretions drip down your throat and reach your mouth, you may develop an abscessed tooth.
If you develop a toothache, experience swelling of your gum tissue, or notice a bad taste when you bite down, you might have a dental abscess. It is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible for further evaluation and treatment. If you have a severe tooth infection, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics.
While a dental abscess is more common in natural teeth, a severe infection can also develop around a dental implant. In extreme cases, the dental implant may need to be removed to treat the underlying infection.
Oral Candidiasis Infection
A deviated septum can lead to a fungal or yeast infection of the nasal sinuses, and because of this, you may be at risk for developing an oral yeast infection. A common oral yeast infection is candidiasis, and if you have it, your dentist may prescribe an anti-fungal mouthwash.
If you notice white patches on your tongue, especially if they bleed easily, you may have a yeast infection. While a candidiasis infection is usually not painful, your mouth may be sensitive to spicy foods or hot beverages. In addition to treating your oral candidiasis infection, you will need to visit your physician, who will treat your fungal infection inside your sinuses.
If you have a deviated septum, you will need to monitor your oral health to make sure that your dental implants and surrounding tissue remains healthy. Visit your dentist on a regular basis, and make an appointment as soon as possible if you experience any of the above conditions. Contact a clinic, like Stone & Johnson Dental Group, for more help.