Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? According to a report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the Midwest (which includes Hendricks County) is one of the highest allergy producing regions in the country. In many Indiana cities and towns, pollen scores can be consistently over 70 during the warmer months. That means Hoosier allergy sufferers can expect to experience a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion. But what you may not know is, seasonal allergies can also have an impact on your oral health.
How Do Seasonal Allergies Affect Oral Health?
1. They can cause tooth pain.
Sinus pain is a common symptom caused by seasonal allergies. When your maxillary sinuses (the sinuses in your cheekbones) fill with mucus, pressure can build up. This pressure can push down on the roots of your upper molars, which results in tooth pain.
2. You can develop dry mouth and bad breath.
Seasonal allergies can cause dry mouth in two ways. First, allergies can make your nose stuffy. Therefore, your only option is to breathe through your mouth, which causes it to dry out. Second, to combat seasonal allergy symptoms, you may take an antihistamine. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many antihistamines.
In turn, dry mouth reduces saliva flow, which is needed to wash away harmful bacteria. When bacteria aren’t washed away, they can multiply, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and halitosis (bad breath).
3. You can get a sore throat.
Increased mucus in your sinuses can cause post-nasal drip, which is when mucus leaks from your sinus cavity into the back of your throat. Since the mucus membrane of your throat is very sensitive, post-nasal drip can irritate it. This irritation can cause soreness, difficulty swallowing, a “scratchy” feeling, and sometimes pain when talking. A sore throat can also cause bad breath.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Oral Health during Allergy Season?
Some things you can do to keep your oral health under control are:
- Drink lots of water to counteract the effects of dry mouth and flush away harmful bacteria.
- Continue to brush twice a day and floss at least once day.
- Gargle with salt water to draw out the mucus from your sinuses. Salt water can also reduce the effects of bad breath, a sore throat, and plaque.
- Control your allergies with prescription medication or allergy shots.
- Stay inside during peak pollen times.
- Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County, when you notice persistent problems like toothaches, dry mouth, a sore throat, or bad breath. Dr. Erickson can determine if your symptoms are allergy-related or caused by other oral health problems.
What Do You Do if You Don’t Have Dental Insurance?
If you don’t have dental insurance, Danville Family Dentistry’s Smile Savings Plan is a possible solution to help you treat oral health problems caused by seasonal allergies. This patient courtesy program provides you with a year’s worth of preventative dental care for a low annual fee. You will receive two professional oral exams, two professional cleanings, and regularly scheduled X-rays. By enrolling in this program, you can receive multiple benefits. Contact our Hendricks County office today at 317-745-4400 to learn more about our Smile Savings Plan and sign up.
Don’t let seasonal allergies affect your oral health. Fight back by scheduling an appointment at Danville Family Dentistry.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.