While springtime may feel like it’s come a little late this year, seasonal allergies may have already begun. Often times, they can mock the symptoms of colds and other illnesses, and that’s not fun for anyone. Could allergies be wreaking havoc on your dental health as well?
While you may not be as concerned about your dental health when you’re feeling the effects of allergies, there is some reason to be. Sickness in any form can affect the teeth and gums in small and large ways.
Tooth pain that derives from seasonal allergies is often associated with sinus pain. Pollen and dust can trigger responses from the immune system, triggering mucus to fill in hollow spaces (often in the face). Often times, the maxillary sinuses on top of the mouth cause pressure to build up and can push down on the roots of the molars. This can be extremely painful, but if the cause is seasonal allergies, taking an antihistamine can make this go away.
Allergies can cause dry mouth you may experience during allergy season. People with stuffy noses tend to start breathing through their mouth more often, and antihistamines that relieve other symptoms of allergies can cause dry mouth as well. Dry mouth can increase your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. One of salivas main functions is to get the bad bacteria out, but if you have dry mouth, saliva may be unable to do its job correctly.
Post-nasal drip coming from seasonal allergies can lead to a sore throat. A sore throat can cause bad breath and while brushing your teeth is a great thing, it doesn’t necessarily help much in stopping bad breath caused by a sore throat.
While tooth pain, dry mouth, and sore throats that derive from allergies can cause problems in the teeth and gums, there are some ways to combat their negative effects to better your dental health.
Tips to overcome seasonal allergies:
- Drink more water. Hydrating your body can help flush excess mucus and counteract the effect of a dry mouth.
- Gargle with salt water. Salt can help to flush out mucus and cut down on the harmful bacteria. Overall, reducing plaque and bad breath.
- Brush and Floss regularly.
- Talk to your doctor. It’s best to treat your allergies. Your doctor can help you choose the right over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication, or allergy shots.
- Talk to your dentist. They can help you figure out if you’re experiencing allergies or something more.