When we think of allergies, we think of the sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, sinus pressure, and itchy or watery eyes. But can seasonal allergies affect your teeth too? The answer is YES.
Allergies hit hardest in spring and fall. During the spring season, flowers, trees, and grasses are blooming. And during fall, a combination of falling leaves and mold can create allergens in the air. Other allergy factors can include warm, humid weather when the air is dry and/or windy and school allergens, such as chalk dust and classroom pets.
Let’s look at two ways that allergies can affect your teeth.
Tooth Pain with Seasonal Allergies and Cold Viruses
As mentioned above, allergies—and the common cold—can cause a sinus infection or sinus pressure to build up. Your sinuses are located behind your forehead, eyes, nose, and cheeks. Because the teeth are located within close proximity to the maxillary sinuses above the mouth, you may feel tooth pain while experiencing seasonal allergies. This tooth pain is caused by pressure on the roots of your teeth from the surrounding sinuses.
Allergies Can Cause Cavities, Gum Disease, and Bad Breath
Seasonal allergies can also cause indirect dental problems and other oral issues. For example, when your nose is stuffy, you are forced to breathe through your mouth. While this is acceptable and not harmful for a few days, prolonged breathing through the mouth can adversely affect your teeth.
Breathing through your mouth can quickly lead to a dry mouth condition. And without the proper balance of saliva and other essential “good bacteria” in the mouth, seasonal allergies can turn into tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections.
If You Are Experiencing Tooth Pain, Call Us or Contact Us Right Away!
How to Protect Your Teeth During Allergy Season
If you tend to suffer from allergies—and even if you are an occasional allergy sufferer—Peace Haven Family Dentistry recommends the following care tips to safeguard your teeth.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated can help reduce the effects of dry mouth.
- Stay inside during high pollen days/times. Typically, pollen counts are highest during late morning to mid-day. If you are allergy prone, it may be best to avoid the outdoors during these times. Also, keep your windows closed on these days as well.
- Stay on schedule with your oral care. Continue brushing and flossing as normal, especially when you are sick.
- Change your home’s vent filters. During pollen season and during the fall and winter, be sure to change your home’s air filters at least once a month. This will help get rid of any pollen, mold or other micro-allergens in the air.
- Take medication. A variety of over-the-counter medication, including antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants can help keep your allergy symptoms in check and help keep you breathing freely.
- Visit your dentist. If you are experiencing any kind of tooth pain, we recommend that you visit your dentist. Yes, even if you are sick. We want to help you catch any dental problems before they become worse. Just notify staff if you are sick before or at the time of your arrival. (Note: If you are highly contagious [e.g., the flu], we do recommend that you follow your doctor’s instructions so as not to unnecessarily expose others (elderly, pregnant women, children, etc.) to your illness.