The sun is shining. The flowers are in full bloom. Your allergies are on high alert. This could only mean one thing — it’s springtime. Even though this season brings the outdoors to life, it can also kick-start your body’s response to some allergens in the air. The symptoms of an allergy flare-up can be annoying and cause you to feel stuffy, itchy, sneezy, and drippy. But these side effects can also concern your dentist in Hagerstown.
Why Your Dentist Cares About Allergy Season
Hearing your dentist in Hagerstown talk about allergies may seem odd, after all, allergies don’t affect teeth. Or do they? Well, the truth is, allergies can affect your oral health in several different ways, so it’s important to talk with your dentist about any allergies you have and when they tend to affect you. Your dental team may have some recommendations about how to treat your symptoms and reduce unwanted oral health side effects. Speaking of oral health side effects of allergies, let’s take a look at some of the most common correlations.
Unexplainable Molar Pain
When our allergies are running high, our sinuses are packed full of pressure, particularly our maxillary sinuses. This pressure is what causes that full-head feeling. But it can also put excessive force on the nerves and roots of our back teeth. In fact, when there’s no other explanation for molar discomfort, your dentist in Hagerstown may suggest sinus inflammation as the culprit.
Anyone who’s ever had allergies, or really anyone who’s ever had a cold, understands how difficult it is to breathe with a stuffy nose. So, as an alternative, we will subconsciously shift to breathing out of our mouths. Even though this helps us get the oxygen we need, mouth breathing over a long period of time can contribute to several oral health concerns such as dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there’s not enough saliva being produced or when the saliva is evaporating too quickly for production to keep up. Saliva is an important part of good oral health as it helps neutralize acids and wash away bad bacteria. Without it, teeth are left exposed to bacteria. This can cause bad breath, increase the risk of cavities, and make someone more likely to develop gum disease.
Potential Problems With Allergy Medicine
Most allergy sufferers will turn to over-the-counter medicines to help ease their symptoms, and understandably so. However, your dentist in Hagerstown wants you to know that some
allergy medicines can also cause dry mouth. But there are some things you can do to help relieve dry mouth discomfort and the dangers that go along with it, such as:
- Chewing sugar-free gum
- Using mouthwash made to help lubricate the mouth
- Drinking plenty of water
- Putting a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep
Don’t stop any medicines without first discussing them with your healthcare provider.
It’s always important to see your dentist twice a year for preventive care. But if you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure you talk to your dentist about when they occur, what causes them, what symptoms you have, and how you typically treat them.