Allergies & How They Affect Your Oral Health
Allergy season in the Pacific Northwest can be brutal… on your teeth! That’s right, in addition to swollen eyes, overzealous sneezing, runny noses and congestion; allergies can have adverse effects on your oral health.
How is this possible you ask? Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, eustachian tubes, middle ear, sinus and throat. These seasonal allergies also affect your teeth and mouth. Inflammation from allergies causes the hollow spaces in your head (your sinuses) to fill up with mucus, which in turn can make your face ache and feel sore.
Allergies & Sinus Pain
Sinus pain is your immune system fighting the invasion of dust, pollen and other allergens.
The largest of these sinuses (the maxillary sinuses) is right above your mouth. When pressure builds up in these sinuses, it can push down on the roots of your upper molars. It can also cause your teeth to feel sensitive to hold or cold foods or beverages. Depending on the severity, you may feel pain in your teeth when you stand up or sit down quickly.
Sinus pain from allergies can make your teeth feel sore, like perhaps you have a toothache. A headache or general fatigue and malaise are also common symptoms. Speak with your doctor and see if there is an over the counter remedy you can take to alleviate the pain.
If this course of action does not cause your teeth pain to subside, it could be something more serious, and you should make an appointment with your dentist.
Allergies & Dry Mouth
Allergies can cause congestion and mean you have to breathe through your mouth. Mouth breathing can increase your chances of developing cavities and gum disease due to the decreased saliva production. Saliva is one of the main ways to wash harmful bacteria out of your mouth. If you are taking an antihistamine, dry mouth is a common side effect. Bad breath is another nasty side effect that can occur.
Keeping up with a regular routine of brushing and flossing is especially important when experiencing allergies. With dry mouth, the need to rinse bacteria out of your mouth is more critical than ever.
Staying hydrated is another good practice for keeping your mouth clear of bacteria while battling allergies. It will also help alleviate the dry mouth feeling, which can be quite uncomfortable.
The Pacific Northwest is ripe with a variety of allergens, including trees, grasses, pollen, and this year an overabundance of smoke pollution. While you cannot control what is floating around in the air, you can take charge of how you treat the side effects. Be mindful of taking care of your mouth and your teeth while battling this year’s allergy season.
Book your fall appointment with our board-certified pediatric dentists at Smile Surfers today.