Achoo! The Surprising Way Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Oral Health

May 1, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drthomas @ 8:00 am
Woman sitting outside, blowing her nose

Spring is full of colorful flowers and bright sunshine — it is a beautiful time of year. Unfortunately, though, this season is not all good. Many people find themselves the victim of nasal congestion, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies can be miserable! Plus, they can do more than just make you feel under the weather. They could endanger your oral health! How is that the case, and what can you do to protect your smile? This blog post explains.

Seasonal Allergies and Dry Mouth

The biggest way in which seasonal allergies can affect oral health is by causing dry mouth. This can occur in a couple of different ways:

  • Nasal congestion causes mouth breathing. If you cannot breathe through your nose, you will do so through your mouth, which can cause your saliva to dry up.
  • Allergy medications have dry mouth as a side effect. For many people, antihistamines can interfere with saliva production.

Dry mouth might not seem like a big deal at first, but it can actually cause some serious harm to your teeth and gums. Without enough saliva to protect your teeth and rinse away food particles and bacteria, you face a heightened risk of bad breath, dental decay, and gum disease.

Protecting Your Smile

Here are a few steps you can take to protect your smile from dry mouth during allergy season:

  • Stay hydrated. Sipping on water can help to keep your mouth clean and encourage saliva production.
  • Suck on sugar-free candies. Sugar-free candies (and sugar-free gum) can encourage saliva production. If they contain xylitol, they may actually help to prevent cavities!
  • Keep up with oral hygiene. A thorough brushing and flossing routine can go a long way toward preventing gum disease and cavities.
  • Avoid allergy triggers. If possible, stay indoors when pollen counts are at their peak. A good home air filtration system can also be helpful.
  • Talk to your primary care practitioner. You might be a candidate for prescription allergy medication or allergy shots.
  • Visit your dentist. Dr. Thomas can help you to prevent and/or manage the oral health issues that can occur as a result of a dry mouth.

Seasonal allergies are a bummer! Take steps to protect your smile so you can enjoy springtime without exposing your teeth and gums to harm.

Meet the Practice

Dr. Preetha Thomas is an experienced holistic dentist who is proud to serve the Southlake area. If you are concerned about seasonal allergies and their impact on your oral health, she and our team would be happy to consult with you. To learn more about us, contact Enclave Dental at 817-912-1218.

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