Spring is always a welcome relief from winter as bare trees fill with green again and beautiful flowers burst into bloom, but for allergy sufferers, spring also means the onslaught of a host of uncomfortable symptoms. Did you know that allergies can also affect your teeth and gums? While allergies don’t directly harm your dental health, the symptoms can have an affect long term. Let’s talk about allergies and your dental health and how to take good care of both during allergy season.
Mouth Breathing and Your Teeth
Allergies often cause symptoms of sinus pressure and congestion. A stuffy, runny nose may seem like just a temporary nuisance, but it turns out all that breathing through your mouth can have a lasting effect on your teeth and gums. When it comes to allergies and your dental health, dry mouth shouldn’t be ignored.
That’s because saliva is your body’s natural defense system against cavities. Saliva is how your body naturally rebalances the environment of your mouth, fights bacteria that leads to tooth decay and helps remove food particles that may adhere to your teeth.
When you have to breathe through your mouth due to a stuffy nose, it can dry out your mouth and leave your teeth without their natural protection and more prone to decay. Antihistamines and other allergy medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can further exacerbate the problem because as they work to block histamine receptors, they can also block the production of saliva.
Good News for Dry Mouth Sufferers
The good news about allergies and your dental health is that allergies are usually temporary, so when the allergen is no longer in the environment, there is often relief. The other good news is that there are some easy remedies that can provide some relief in the meantime.
Some simple ideas that may be helpful to relieve dry mouth are drinking more fluids, sucking on sugar-free cough drops or candy, chewing sugar-free gum and running a humidifier or boiling some water to add humidity to your living space.
Talk to Your Dentist About Allergies and Your Dental Health
If these options aren’t providing enough relief, it’s a great idea to make an appointment with your dentist to discuss other options. Your dentist may recommend a mouthwash specifically formulated to help with dry mouth or other treatments like medication or a change in allergy medication if that is making the problem worse. Your dentist is here to help you care for your teeth through every season, including allergy season!
Call our Glendale, Sun City West or Scottsdale dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.