Spring has already come around again. It is great to feel the weather change, but something else is here now as well – pollen! You certainly aren’t looking forward to your seasonal allergies. You have already started stocking up on tissues and medicines to help so that you can be ready when the big wave hits. However, you probably didn’t know just how much allergies affect your oral health. Continue reading to learn about the dental problems caused by allergies and what you can do to limit them.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Most of the time, seasonal allergies come around about twice a year during the spring and fall months. During this time, the grass and trees pollinate leaving substances in the air. This causes irritation to many people. For most, the biggest culprit is ragweed pollen, but mold and dust mites have similar effects during this time of year.
How Do Seasonal Allergies Affect Oral Health?
Allergies cause many dental health issues. Here are just some of the most common ones that people experience:
- Dry mouth: When you have a stuffed-up nose, it is more difficult for you to breathe through it. This is especially the case if you like to exercise. You will end up breathing through your mouth more causing it to dry out. This puts you at higher risk for bad breath, cavities, and gingivitis.
- Tooth pain: Sinus pain is a frequent sign that you have seasonal allergies. This is because allergies cause the sinus cavity to fill up with mucus, causing aches and pains in the face. Your sinuses are so close to your mouth, so it pushes down on the roots of your molars, therefore increasing tooth sensitivity.
- Sore throat: Is you have post-nasal drip as a result of your allergies, this can cause you to develop a sore throat and bad breath.
How Can You Keep Your Smile Healthy Throughout the Spring?
Here are a few tips that can help you to maintain excellent oral health despite your allergies:
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your body and mouth hydrated.
- Gargle saltwater: To cut down on harmful bacteria in the mouth and draw mucus out of the sinuses, gargle with a mixture of warm water and a teaspoon of salt.
- Brush and floss: Keep up an excellent oral hygiene routine at this time.
- See your doctor: If your allergies are severe, you may want to talk to your family doctor about possible solutions.
- See your dentist: If you’re experiencing tooth pain or other oral health issues, you should schedule a checkup with your dentist. This way, they can rule out underlying issues other than seasonal allergies.
You shouldn’t let allergies get in the way of your oral health. By using the tips listed above and seeing your dentist, you will be able to get through the season with a healthy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Gary C. Nawrocki is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for more than four decades. He earned his dental doctorate from the University of Florida and has completed advanced dental studies at the Pankey Institute, the Seattle Institute, and the Spear Educational Institute in Scottsdale, AZ. Currently, he is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Florida Dental Association. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Cocoa Beach, visit his website or call (321) 783-7514.