What’s Seasonal Allergies Got To Do with Dental Health?

Oral Issues When Allergies Strike

Millions of people get seasonal allergies each year, during spring and fall usually. These flare-ups can last months. People sneeze, cough, get runny noses and itchy throats; their eyes puff sometimes and mouths get sore. Pollen are everywhere, falling from trees and laying on the grass. Molds come out of spores and people get in contact even if they’re careful. Spring and fall could be very beautiful times, but for these.

When allergic reactions breakout, they can affect the health. They can impact dental health, too. A common problem is dry mouth. Allergies can produce swollen lips, tongue or mouth; can cause irritated gums as well. There’s congestion and people compensate by breathing through their mouths instead of through their noses. It can dry up saliva. Dry mouths have some serious consequences.

Oral structures – teeth, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, inner cheeks, even the roof of the mouth – are not as hydrated with free-flowing saliva. The dryness can allow bacteria to proliferate, attack sugar and acid left on teeth and cause the beginnings of decay. Irritated gums and other soft tissue can get swollen and develop sores. If there’s gingivitis already, dryness can accelerate the condition.

On the other hand, when one suffers from allergies, antihistamines are normally taken. These medications can have a bothersome side-effect – dry mouth again. Another effect of dry mouth is bad breath. Now, why does teeth seem to hurt also? If allergies cause sinus congestion or lead to a sinus infection, the resulting inflammation can cause pain that may seem to affect the teeth. Seasonal allergies can create sinus pain in the upper teeth and gums because they touch the maxillary sinuses.

How do you prevent and treat these allergies?

A few preventive measures. Try to avoid the outdoors, if you can. Windy days have lots of allergens in the air, so wear a face mask or pollen mask if you must go out. Or stay indoors and avoid fans that can blow pollen into the house. For dry mouth, stay hydrated by taking plenty of water. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate salivary glands, and keep up your daily brushing and flossing routine and mouth rinses, as well.

Keeping The Smiles Through Allergy Season

Don’t forget to visit your West Seattle dentist during these times when allergies attack. Know how to cope with allergies and learn a few more tips on prevention. Enjoy the seasons without having to worry about oral issues.