Allergy season is the most dreaded time of the year. You woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and swollen eyes. You have to will yourself to get out of bed and start getting ready for work even though you feel horrible. As though all the symptoms that come with seasonal allergies aren’t enough, they can also have an impact on your oral health. Hay fever can cause problems for your teeth and gums, so it’s important to protect your mouth. Read on to learn about how your dentist in Putnam recommends taking care of your oral health during allergy season.
How Can Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Oral Health?
You’re probably familiar with three major symptoms of seasonal allergies: sinus pressure, dry mouth, and sore throat. Here’s how they can affect your oral health:
- Sinus pressure is a common side-effect of your immune system fighting off pollen and dust. Hollow spaces in your head get filled with mucus and cause pressure buildup which results in discomfort. When this happens, it can push down on the roots of your molars and make them more sensitive to hot and cold. Antihistamines can provide you with relief if your problem is allergy related. If it doesn’t, be sure to contact your dentist, because your pain may be caused by decay.
- Sore throat is a common symptom of allergies that is caused by postnasal drip. An itchy throat could cause you to experience bad breath, but since it’s a result of your throat, brushing may not be able to help.
- Dry mouth can be caused when your nose gets stuffy, or if you’re taking antihistamines, that could be a side-effect. Not only is waking up with a dry mouth incredibly uncomfortable, but it also increases your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. When your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, bacteria and food particles aren’t being regularly rinsed away. They’re left to collect and buildup, causing oral problems.
Luckily, there are some actions you’re able to take to help preserve your dental health during allergy season.
What Can You Do to Benefit Your Mouth?
Make your allergy season a little easier by making sure your oral health doesn’t decline. Factors like bad breath due to a sore throat can be annoying, but following these tips can make your life a little easier:
- Stay hydrated to counteract the effects of dry mouth. This can help produce more saliva as well as aid your body in flushing away built-up mucus.
- Gargling with salt water can rid mucus from your sinuses and relieve pressure. It helps ward off harmful bacteria and can reduce bad breath and plaque buildup. Dissolve a tablespoon of salt into a glass of warm water for the best results.
- Keep up with your dental hygiene routine by brushing twice a day, flossing, and attending your semi-annual dental appointments. This will give you a chance to ask your dentist whether your symptoms are allergy related. If they’re not, they will be able to provide you proper treatment to relieve your symptoms.
- Control your allergies by taking medication or getting allergy shots. This can help provide you with relief as well as fortify your oral health. It’s also a good idea to speak with your doctor about any long-term treatment options they may be able to offer you.
Taking care of your oral health during allergy season may be more important than you originally thought. On top of dealing with feeling terrible, you won’t want to battle with additional dental problems, so be sure to take these extra precautions!
About the Author
Dr. Eleni Milas offers her patients decades of experience. She was an Associate Dentist for 18 years in Connecticut and Ohio as well as taught at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and the Cuyahoga Community College Dental Hygiene School. She enjoys giving her patients the tools they need to take care of their smiles so they can enjoy them for years to come. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, visit her website or contact 860-928-3723.