With the arrival of spring, you have probably stocked up on tissues and other key items to help you survive seasonal allergies. Millions of Americans experience them each year but may not know they affect oral health too. The good news is several measures can be taken to relieve your symptoms. Continue reading to learn from your dentist in Rochester how seasonal allergies and dental health are related, as well as how you can protect your smile.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Most of the time, seasonal allergies surface twice a year in the spring and fall months. During this time, the grass and trees begin to pollinate, leaving substances in the air that tend to irritate many individuals. For most people, ragweed pollen is the main culprit, but both mold and dust mites can have similar effects.
How Do Seasonal Allergies Impact Oral Health?
Allergies can cause several issues for your dental health. Here are some of the most common ones people experience:
- Dry Mouth: If your nose is stuffed up, it automatically becomes more difficult for you to breathe. This is especially the case if you like to exercise. Ultimately, you will end up breathing through your mouth to get the oxygen your body needs to function. When you are mouth breathing too often, dry mouth is the likely result. This increases your chances of developing bad breath, cavities, and gingivitis.
- Tooth Pain: Sinus pain is a frequent symptom of seasonal allergies. This is because allergies cause the sinus cavity to fill up with mucus, causing aches and pains in the face. Since your sinuses are so close to your mouth, they can push down on the roots of your molars, increasing tooth sensitivity.
- Sore Throat: Post-nasal drip can result in a sore throat. This can lead to bad breath.
How Can You Maintain Excellent Dental Health During Allergy Season?
Here are some steps to help you achieve excellent dental health when you are dealing with seasonal allergies:
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
- Gargle with salt water: To cut down on harmful bacteria in the mouth and throat by drawing mucus out of your sinuses, gargle with a mixture of warm water and a teaspoon of salt.
- Brush and floss: Don’t slack on your regular oral hygiene routine.
- See your doctor: If you have severe seasonal allergies, talk to your family doctor about possible solutions.
- See your dentist: If you are experiencing tooth pain or other oral health issues, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss this. They can rule out any underlying issues other than seasonal allergies.
Don’t let seasonal allergies and dental health problems become a cause-and-effect situation for you. Use the tips listed above so you can survive the season with a healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Nicholas Brong earned his dental doctorate from the University of California at San Francisco. He loves having the opportunity to help patients achieve and maintain their healthiest smiles by offering them optimal care. Dr. Brong is a member of the American Dental Association. Be sure to visit Dr. Brong if you suspect that you are dealing with oral health issues, but you should also take a preventive approach and see him for a biannual checkup and cleaning which you can schedule on his website or by calling (507) 288-1066.