Allergies and oral health

March means the arrival of spring and along with it warmer temperatures, longer days, and blooming flowers. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, you know that also means pollen and other irritants that make allergies go crazy. And while the sniffling, sneezing, and mouth breathing might be annoying, they can also cause trouble for your teeth.

Now, let’s be clear – allergies themselves do not cause mouth problems. The trouble comes from conditions caused by allergies such as dry mouth from the use of antihistamines.

A dry mouth decreases saliva, which helps digest food, wash away food particles, and neutralize cavity-causing bacteria and acid. When you don’t have enough saliva, these things don’t happen, which leaves you at risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

To keep dry mouth from causing long-term dental issues for you, it’s important to make sure you are drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum, or sucking on sugar-free hard candy, and keeping the air in your home moist.

In addition to dry mouth, allergies also cause post-nasal drip, which can lead to bad breath and increased pressure in the sinus cavity, which can lead to toothaches. Both of these can be treated with a visit to a physician or sometimes with over-the-counter medications.

By knowing what to expect and being proactive, you can keep allergies from hurting your teeth. As always, if you continue to have issues or home remedies are not working, give Jackson Dental a call at 573-243-5200.