Spring and summer mean sunny, warmer days, and chirping birds. They also means seasonal allergies are on the horizon, if they haven’t hit already.
Along with the bright green new grass, budding leaves and the colorful array of blooming flowers, pollen and other contaminants in the air can wage war on one’s sinuses.
While allergies are associated with headaches, sneezing, runny noses, congestion and other aches and pains, it’s not common to think they could affect one’s teeth.
However, if you get severe seasonal allergies, your oral health may be affected, and your teeth will let you know.
Here’s how seasonal allergies can affect your teeth, and overall oral health:
Do you have a sudden, unexplained toothache, especially in a molar or pre-molar on the top your mouth? It may be the result of your seasonal allergies.
The extra dust and pollen in the air, causes the body to produce extra mucus in the hollow spaces of your body, namely the maxillary sinuses. These sinuses are located on top of your mouth and is the largest sinus in your face. It is what connects the mouth and nose.
The extra mucus produced as your body’s immune system kicks into gear causes the hallmark nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, pressure and head and facial pain. The added pressure of the excess mucus in the maxillary sinuses can cause the pressure and pain to be pushed down into the jaws, gums and roots of the top molars and premolars.
As a result, your top premolars and molars may ache and become extra sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks, chewing and tapping as well as shifting body positions such as sitting down, lying down and standing up.
The symptoms of tooth sensitivity are like that of an infected tooth. It is recommended that patients use antihistamines to treat their seasonal allergies. If the teeth are still sensitive, throb or ache after the allergy symptoms disappear, then the patient should schedule an appointment with us as it likely is a tooth infection.
Those suffering from seasonal allergies often experience a dry mouth. As the nose becomes congested with excess mucus, it becomes hard to breathe through the nose. More breathing is therefore done through the mouth, which dries it out. To add insult to injury, many antihistamines used to treat seasonal allergies also dry the mouth out as a side-effect.
Having a dry mouth is uncomfortable. One is always thirsty and a dry mouth can lead to a sore throat.
In addition to the discomfort of a dry mouth, a dry mouth is bad for one’s oral health.
Your mouth needs moisture to stay clean and keep cavity and gum disease-causing bacteria at bay. Saliva is the body’s natural mouthwash. The extra breathing through the mouth because of seasonal allergies dries up the saliva, making the mouth dry.
With a drier environment, germs, bacteria and food particles can’t be dislodged from between or from the surface of teeth and they can’t be washed out of the mouth as well. The surface of teeth become less moist, making it easier for food particles and bacteria to attach onto the teeth.
Without adequate water hydration, flossing and teeth brushing, bacteria and plaque can flourish and accumulate, creating tartar, gum disease and tooth decay.
A combination of dry mouth and postnasal drip from seasonal allergies can result in a sore throat. While sore throats don’t have an impact on one’s teeth and gums, it is uncomfortable and the infection and germs in the throat that cause it to get irritated can result in bad breath.
Bad breath isn’t something most people want, especially those who do a lot of talking and enjoy the close proximity of friends and family.
While seasonal allergies are often associated with nasal congestion, pressure, aches and runny noses, they can also lead to toothaches, dry mouth and sore throats which can cause oral health risks.
If your seasonal allergies cause toothaches and a dry mouth, contact us to schedule an appointment with your local family dentist in Northport AL and make sure your oral health is in great shape.