Can Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Oral Health?
Is your runny nose accompanied by excessive coughing and itchy eyes during certain times of the year? If yes, you may have seasonal allergies.
Your dental health may be the least of your worries whenever allergy season is in full swing, but a case of hay fever can inflict adverse effects on your teeth and gums. Here’s what you should look out for.
1. Molar Pains
Sinus pain is a common symptom indicating that your immune system is waging war on pollen and dust. Mucus fills the hollow spaces in your head, causing aches and pains in your face. The maxillary sinuses, located above your mouth, are the largest sinuses in your face. Pressure can build in these sinuses, pushing down on the roots of your upper molars. In turn, you may experience heightened sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as shifting pains whenever you sit, stand, or lie down.
The tooth pain is likely allergy-related is drugs like antihistamines can soothe it. In contrast, if the pain persists after your allergy symptoms disappear, or occurs on teeth other than your upper molars — talk to your dentist because decay may be the cause of pain.
2. Dry Mouth
There are two ways in which dry mouth is a side effect connected to your allergies. First, you are more likely to breathe through your mouth when your nose is stuffy. Second, most antihistamines include dry mouth as a side effect. This condition is not only uncomfortable, but it also increases your chances of developing gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. One of the primary functions of saliva is to wash away disease-causing bacteria. That means a dry mouth is the perfect habitat for harmful bacteria to thrive and multiply.
3. Sore Throat
Coughing accompanied by postnasal drips can result in a sore and highly irritated throat. A sore throat can cause bad breath, and since it originates in the throat, gargling and brushing your teeth won’t provide much help.
Follow these tips to keep your dental health in check.
- Stay hydrated:Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day keeps your mouth and body hydrated. Not only does water counteract the effects of dry mouth, but it can also help your body flush away any excess mucus.
- Gargle with salt water: To fight off infections in the throat, dissolve a tablespoon of sea salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle and spit the solution. The salt helps in drawing mucus out of your sinuses, which act as a relief to your symptoms. It can also kill harmful bacteria sitting in your mouth and throat, reducing the effects of bad breath and plaque.
- Treat your allergies: The best way to prevent allergies from affecting your oral health is to take control. Avoid known triggers and talk to your general practitioner about long-term treatment options, which can include prescription medication or allergy shots.
If you continue to suffer from severe symptoms, visit your doctor for confirmation of the diagnosis. Also, maintain scheduled dental appointments to ensure that your oral health is in excellent condition. If you experience recurring tooth and gum pains, Kyrene Family Dentistry can help figure out whether it’s allergy-related or caused by dental problems. Contact us today at 480-705-9005.