You can’t turn on the TV or the internet today without hearing a horrific story about allergies. Whether it’s a runny nose or life-threatening condition, allergies seem to be here to stay. According to researchers at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), 50 million Americans suffer from nasal allergies alone. Not only do allergies lead to chronic illness, they also contribute to billions in health care costs annually.
While New Jersey doesn’t rank within the top states for allergy sufferers, New York and several Midwestern states do. Allergies attack every part of the body, so assuming that familiar tickle or prickle won’t affect your oral health is a big mistake. Preventive dental care can only help. But, what are the main ways allergies affect your oral health?
Sinus Pressure and Tooth Pain
Sinus pressure is one of the first and worst symptoms of allergies. The most well-known sinuses are located in the face. The bone pockets continually fill and release mucus which helps trap allergens and increase immune defense. However, when allergies strike, the sinuses swell and pressure pushes against the molars.
The resulting congestion can lead to intense pain as it presses against the tooth roots. Antihistamines can help, but your Moorestown Dental Professionals can help keep it from returning without medication.
Cotton or Dry Mouth
As allergies hit, the mouth can become noticeably dry or seem to fill with cotton. Taking antihistamines for this condition only makes things worse as dry mouth is a side effect of the medication.
Dry mouth isn’t just some minor uncomfortable condition. It can lead to cavities and tooth decay if you’re not careful. Saliva naturally washes bad bacteria away, and when that’s removed they have an unchallenged breeding ground. Gum disease and halitosis are other common symptoms of allergies.
Sore or Irritated Throat
Just like with a common cold, a sore throat from allergies is caused by postnasal drip. However, unlike a simple virus or bug, allergies don’t tend to go away within a few days.
Sure you can drink tea with honey and take meds to reduce the discomfort, but the root cause of the pain needs to be addressed to stop it in its tracks. A sore throat from allergies can cause severe halitosis. And try as you might, brushing your teeth does little to stop it.
What Can You Do to Combat Allergy-Related Oral Health Issues?
Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is the key to counteract allergy symptoms and flush out mucous. Be sure to gargle with salt water to draw out mucus from sinuses, cut back on bacteria growth, and reduce bad breath. Keep brushing and flossing.
Slacking off on your oral health can lead to more allergy symptoms as well as other problems you really don’t need. Use prescriptions and doctor-administered allergy shots as opposed to over-the-counter solutions to treat allergies. And talk to your Moorestown Dental Professionals to see if your issues really are allergy-related or if you need specific biomimetic dentistry solutions to combat them permanently.