Lung Disease

What is Lung Disease?

Lung disease is any problem in the lungs that prevents the lungs from working properly.

  • There are three main types of lung disease: 1) Airway diseases - These diseases affect the tubes (airways) that carry oxygen and other gases into and out of the lungs; 2) Lung tissue diseases - These diseases affect the structure of the lung tissue: and 3) Lung circulation diseases - These diseases affect the blood vessels in the lungs.
  • Many lung diseases involve a combination of these three types.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases.
  • There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic Bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus; and Emphysema, which involves damage to the lungs over time.
  • Tens of millions of people suffer from lung disease in the U.S.
  • Smoking, genetics and infections, including periodontitis, are responsible for most lung diseases.

Symptoms of lung disease:

  • Shortness of breath or "dyspnea": when you breathe harder but feel like you're running out of air
  • Persistent (chronic) cough
  • Coughing up mucus/phlegm
  • Difficult or labored breathing during physical activity or while resting
  • Wheezing (air trying to flow through a narrow airway)
  • Higher frequency of pneumonia and lung infections

Treatment Options:

  • Lifestyle change, avoiding alcohol, losing weight, and quitting smoking
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs typically combine education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counseling.
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Bronchodilators
  • Anti-lnflammatories

How is lung disease related to your mouth?

Studies have concluded that there is a fair degree of evidence of an association of pneumonia with oral health, and that good evidence exists that improved oral hygiene and frequent professional oral health care reduce the progression or occurrence of respiratory diseases among the high-risk elderly living in nursing homes, especially those in intensive care units. Studies have shown that lung function decreased with increasing periodontal attachment loss. Therefore, it is believed that a potential association may exist between periodontitis and chronic pulmonary diseases like COPD.


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