With April comes more rain, but it’s also the time of year that you’re likely purchasing more allergy medication and boxes of tissues for yourself and the family. Due to the influx of new pollen in the air, you may find yourself dealing with more symptoms than usual, including sinus pressure and dry mouth. According to a dentist, these common allergy concerns are also connected to your oral health in more ways than you’d think.
How Allergies Increase the Risk for Dry Mouth
If you suffer from allergy-related symptoms, whether you have an allergic reaction to pollen, hay fever, or animal dander, it means you are more likely to experience dry mouth throughout the day. The dryer the mouth, the less saliva it contains. Saliva is a crucial component of neutralizing oral bacteria and washing away food debris, which is why those who tend to have dry mouth more often also tend to develop more cavities and tooth pain.
Keep in mind that both adults and children can experience allergy symptoms, so it’s very important to help your child stay on top of their routine oral care particularly through allergy season when dry mouth is more common.
Is It Tooth Pain or Sinusitis?
During allergy season, certain conditions become more common, specifically sinusitis. Sinusitis (also known as a sinus infection) is characterized by inflammation of the nasal sinuses and is usually caused by the flu, the common cold, or seasonal allergies. It can also affect the cheekbone’s sinuses, which results in pressure and potentially a toothache. This can make it difficult to differentiate tooth pain from pain caused by a sinus infection.
The best way to tell the difference between the two is to pay close attention to your symptoms and go from there. For example, tooth pain related to a sinus issue will usually go away after a few days. Tooth-related pain does not go away on its own. Additionally, sinus-related pain usually occurs on both sides of the face due to obstructions causing increased pressure, while tooth pain is far more localized in nature.
Of course, you should still get in touch with a dentist just to be sure there are no underlying problems with your tooth.
What You Can Do to Stay Proactive
There are ways to protect your oral health during allergy season, and it all starts with diligent oral hygiene and methods designed to prevent dry mouth. This includes:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste
- Flossing at least once a day
- Drinking more water throughout the day (about 15 cups a day for men and 11 cups a day for women)
- Chew sugar-free gum following meals
- Consider adding a humidifier to your bedroom to reduce dry air
While there are many at-home remedies available to you to manage allergy symptoms and protect your oral health, you should always consider visiting your doctor regularly for checkups and your dentist for routine exams and cleanings every six months!
About the Author
Dr. Nawrocki remains committed to bringing patients personalized dental services and helping them maintain the best oral health possible, whether it’s during allergy season or any other time of the year. His practice makes preventive care a priority, ensuring you can stay proactive against dental disease. To schedule an appointment, you can contact him through his website.