Allergies and oral health

When you suffer from allergies, you can feel like you’re living in a fog. It’s hard to tell what symptom is the worst, and which reaction is causing even more undesirable side effects. Watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itchiness – your respiratory system takes a walloping when allergies kick in, but so does your oral health.

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A Taste of Bad Medicine

If you’re holistically inclined, you may stock up on local honey and eat a spoonful a day in an effort to ward off allergy symptoms. However, this method isn’t always effective, and when the symptoms get so bad that they’re affecting your sleep, your daily life, and your ability to do your job and just be comfortable, over-the-counter meds are often the next answer.

Thankfully, once you settle on an allergy medicine that helps, you’re freed from the awful symptoms you’re experiencing. But this immunity is not completely free – you are very likely to suffer from dry mouth when you regularly take an antihistamine.

Saliva has a very important role in the health of your mouth. Without enough saliva, your mouth is not moist enough and not adequately able to wash away bacteria and food particles throughout the day. Eventually, too much dry mouth without a reprieve can lead to bad breath, cavities, and, for some people, gum disease.

While no one wants to go off of their allergy medicine and face another round of nasal attacks, you’re playing with fire. Speak with your doctor about alternative therapies for your allergies and, in the meantime, chew sugar-free gum with xylitol to try to beef up saliva production. Too many cavities? Three surprising causes of tooth decay >>

From Sore Throat to Sinus Pressure

Some allergies can present as a sore throat, which may make a person think they have a cold and not actually allergies. It’s actually postnasal drip that is typically the source of the sore throat, coughing, or throat irritation that you feel. To combat the problem, some people sip on a drink all day long – this is great if it’s water, but if you’re nursing a coffee or soda you’re simply bathing your teeth in dark or sugary beverages all day.

If you’re turning to cough drops or hard candy as a balm instead, the same problem applies – your teeth are taking a sugar bath, and this constant exposure to sugar can have you developing cavities left and right.

The sinus pressure you’re feeling can also cause oral health issues. The maxillary bone above your upper molars is where your maxillary sinuses are located – and that can put pressure on your tooth roots, causing pain and discomfort.

Identify the Problem

While allergies may certainly be responsible for some of the oral health problems you’re experiencing, there could of course be other issues in play if you have irritation or tenderness. Any unusual or painful symptoms should be brought to the attention of your dentist so she can determine if you are indeed dealing with the side effects of allergies, or if a deeper issue is happening.

Make your appointment with Dr. Shaista Najmi at Ivory Dental in Jacksonville, Florida, to talk about your oral health concerns.

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