THE ORAL AND OVERALL HEALTH CONNECTION
It’s spring and everything is blooming. The flowers are beautiful and colorful, the trees are full and green and the grass is soft and lus.. Nature is so inviting during spring but it can also be so irritating to the body. This is because spring not only brings beauty it also brings ALLERGIES!
Allergies can be so annoying especially when wanting to go outside and enjoy nature. Going outside for some, means dealing with allergy symptoms constantly. A person may know that allergies affect their body but they may not know that allergies can also affect their oral health?
WHAT CAUSES SEASONAL ALLERGIES
For those that suffer with allergies year round, there can be many causes or allergens that trigger an allergic response. With seasonal allergies, though, the spring and the fall are the two times of year when allergy symptoms seem to flare. Trees and grass pollinate throughout the spring, ragweed pollinates in the fall, and mold sends out spores during this time as well. These pollination cycles are the culprit behind our bouts with pesky seasonal allergy symptoms. Most people endure long months of itchy eyes, nose and mouth, and/or throat, puffy eyes, sneezing and coughing during these times. These symptoms are the body’s hyperactive immune response to these seasonal triggers and allergens.
HOW ALLERGIES CAN AFFECT A PERSON’S ORAL HEALTH
The mouth is not immune from the effects of seasonal allergies. There are many ways seasonal allergies affect oral health. Below is a list of ways seasonal allergies affect a person’s oral health:
Seasonal allergies can have an affect on a person’s sinuses. Sinus infections can cause pressure and lead to tooth pain. When the sinus cavity becomes swollen and infected it produces pressure on top of teeth roots. The maxillary sinuses lie directly above the upper teeth. This constant pressure can lead to sensitivity to hot and cold or a constant throbbing pain.
One way to relieve the pressure and pain is to use antihistamines. If the pain subsides with the use of antihistamines this will indicate that it’s source is allergy related. If the pain continues after the use of antihistamines then it may indicate that another problem is causing the pain. Seeing a dentist if the pain continues is important as to avoid a dental problem progressing.
Someone suffering from the effects of seasonal allergies may notice their mouth feeling dry and sticky. Dry mouth is the result of a lack of saliva in the mouth. This can occur because a person may breath through their mouth due a stuffy nose or it could be a side effect of antihistamines. Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. It’s important because it washes away debris and bacteria left over after eating. When the mouth doesn’t have enough saliva this can have many negative effects on the throat as well as the teeth. Dry mouth can increase a person’s chances of getting cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
Some people may notice that when they are suffering from seasonal allergies, they also suffer from a sore throat. Post nasal drip is the main cause of a sore throat brought on by the seasonal allergies.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SEASONAL ALLERGIES OCCUR
There are several things a person can do to help ease the discomfort of seasonal allergies and help prevent issues that may be caused by allergy symptoms. Below is a list of simple things to try:
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid dry mouth and fight off seasonal allergy symptoms. When a person stays hydrated it helps prevent high histamine production and helps to alleviate allergy symptoms. Also drinking lots of water helps fight dry mouth.
SALT WATER RINSES
Gargling with salt water is beneficial because it helps draw mucus from the sinuses. This helps to relieve allergy symptoms. Salt water rinses can also help by removing debris from the mouth keeping teeth free from plaque.
BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY
Because seasonal allergies bring on dry mouth it’s important to make sure teeth are properly cleaned on a daily basis. Brushing twice a day and flossing can help cut down on plaque build up and keep teeth cavity free.
MAKE SURE TO HAVE REGULAR CLEANINGS AND CHECKUPS
Continuing to maintain regular dental cleanings and checkups is the best way to avoid dental problems during allergy season. Also keeping your dentist informed on any pain or discomfort is the best way to keep small issues from getting bigger.
Finding ways to avoid allergens whenever possible is best, but because they are often airborne that can be difficult to do. On windy days when most allergens are in the air, staying indoors can help limit your exposure to allergy triggers. Wearing a pollen mask while doing yard work and avoiding the use of window fans that bring or blow pollen and mold spores into your home can also be helpful. Also taking any anti-allergy medications recommended by your doctor or allergist will assist in minimizing your congestion.
If you are experiencing a dry mouth, as a side-effect of your seasonal allergies or for any other reason, call our office today! Your oral health is our #1 priority! Together we can develop a plan to keep your mouth healthy throughout allergy season…and all year long!! For all of your family, cosmetic or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact Paris Family Dental. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (903) 732-0061! Visit us at 2333 Lamar Ave, Paris, TX 75460 to learn more about our team, our practice, and how we provide excellence in dentistry in our area.