Now that spring is coming around again, you have probably already stocked up on tissues and other necessary items needed to deal with your seasonal allergies. Millions of Americans experience seasonal allergies each year, but many people don’t know that they affect their oral health as well. The good news is that there are a variety of steps that can be taken in order to relieve your symptoms. Continue reading to learn how seasonal allergies and dental health are related, as well as how you can combat the negative effects.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Most of the time, seasonal allergies come around twice a year during the spring and fall months. During this time, the grass and trees begin to pollinate, leaving substances in the air that tend to cause irritation to many individuals. For most people, ragweed pollen is the main culprit, but both mold and dust mites can also have similar effects.
How Do Seasonal Allergies Affect Oral Health?
Allergies can cause several issues when it comes to your dental health. Here are some of the most common ones that people experience:
- Dry Mouth: If your nose is all stuffed up, it automatically becomes more difficult for you to breathe. This is especially the case if you like to exercise. Ultimately, you will end up breathing through your mouth in order to get the oxygen that your body needs to function. When you are mouth breathing too often, dry mouth is a likely result. This increases your chances of developing bad breath, cavities, and gingivitis.
- Tooth Pain: Sinus pain is a frequent symptom of seasonal allergies. This is because allergies cause the sinus cavity to fill up with mucus, causing aches and pains in the face. Since your sinuses are so close to your mouth, it can push down on the roots of your molars, increasing tooth sensitivity.
- Sore Throat: Post-nasal drip can result in a sore throat. This can cause you to develop bad breath.
How Can You Keep Up Excellent Dental Health During Allergy Season?
Here are some steps that can help you keep up excellent dental health when you are dealing with seasonal allergies:
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water in order to keep your body hydrated.
- Gargle with Saltwater: In order to cut down on harmful bacteria in the mouth and throat and draw mucus out of your sinuses, gargle with a mixture of warm water and a teaspoon of salt.
- Brush and Floss: Don’t slack on your regular oral hygiene routine.
- See Your Doctor: If you have severe seasonal allergies, talk to your family doctor about possible solutions.
- See Your Dentist: If you are experiencing tooth pain or other oral health issues, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss this. This way, they can rule out any underlying issues other than seasonal allergies.
You shouldn’t let your seasonal allergies get in the way of your oral health. Use the tips listed above so you can get through the season with a healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Rob Schumacher is an experienced dentist who has been practicing for more than 14 years. He studied at both the University of Kentucky and the University of Michigan. In addition to being a national board certified prosthodontist, he is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the American College of Prosthodontics. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Wakefield, visit his website or call (781) 334-3400.