Seasonal changes often cause side effects that nobody enjoys. Spring brings seasonal allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and a runny nose. But, you might also experience problems with your teeth and gums if you suffer from allergies.
The side effects of seasonal allergies on oral health are not that well known. However, our dentists can tell you everything you need to know. Read on to learn how seasonal allergies can affect your oral health each year.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Some people only tend to sneeze and cough during certain times of the year. This is usually from late February to mid-May, considered the springtime. But why do people get seasonal allergies during this time of the year?
As the weather warms up in the late winter, plants begin pollinating earlier. The rainy spring promotes rapid plant growth and mold growth in high humidity areas. Then, when it’s a windy, warm day, the pollen counts surge affecting your sinuses.
3 Ways How Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Oral Health
Due to pollen particles and other seasonal irritants in the air, your immune system is in overdrive during allergy season. Unfortunately, this reaction leads to adverse effects on your oral health. Below are three ways seasonal allergies affect your oral health
1. Tooth pain
As your immune system responds to irritants in your mouth, your maxillary sinuses fill up quickly with mucus. Once these cavities are full, pressure is built on the roots above your upper molars, causing you to feel pain when you bite, chew, or speak.
2. Swollen gums
Post-nasal drip is a symptom of allergies. It is common for a post-nasal drip to lead to sore throats, swollen tonsils and gums, and dry mouth.
It can be hard to brush effectively with swollen gums. Eventually, your irritated gums can lead to gingivitis or even gum disease. Also, your dry and sore mouth can cause canker sores.
3. Dry mouth
If you suffer from congested sinuses due to seasonal allergies, it can often cause you to breathe through your mouth. Mouth breathing can lead to dryness and related oral health problems.
Saliva plays a crucial role in removing harmful bacteria. It also contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium, vital for remineralizing tooth enamel after eating. A dry mouth due to seasonal allergies creates an ideal environment for developing cavities and severe tooth decay.
Take Care of Your Oral Health to Combat Seasonal Allergies Symptoms
While you can’t always stop the symptoms of seasonal allergies, you can take steps to protect your oral health. Below are the steps you can take to protect your mouth during allergy season:
- Drink more water to improve your hydration and increase saliva production
- Gargle with salt water every morning to alleviate your sore throat and inflammation
- Brush and floss twice a day to remove bacteria, plaque, and food debris from your teeth
Visiting a doctor or taking an over-the-counter antihistamine medicine is crucial when dealing with seasonal allergies. You should also visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and exam to check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease due to seasonal allergy symptoms.
Schedule an Appointment with Valley Dental Care
Don’t let the pollen in the air keep you from properly caring for your teeth and gums. Our dentists in Aurora and Oswego can show you how to maintain good oral hygiene during the sneezing season when you schedule your appointment at Valley Dental Care.