With the beauty of spring comes the darker side of warmer weather: seasonal allergies. If you are an allergy sufferer, you are already on high alert for those telltale symptoms of a flare-up: watery eyes, runny nose, sinus pain, exhaustion, and oh the itching. While your respiratory system can seriously suffer from the side effects of pollen and its counterparts, there is another element of your well-being that is also taking a hit – your oral health.
Don’t Let Your Saliva Dry Up
Perhaps you are prepared to face allergy season head on and you have a system for minimizing the amount of pollen that comes into your home. And this year you have allergy meds already building up in your system. Congratulations on being ready to face the inevitable. However, the over-the-counter remedy you pop to keep sneezing and coughing at bay could negatively impact your teeth and gums.
Antihistamines are like little bits of magic for a seasonal allergy sufferer. Being able to go outside without suffering is a gift in the springtime. Unfortunately, these meds come with some unpleasant side effects, especially dry mouth.
While a dry mouth may seem like an insignificant factor to tolerate in exchange for feeling good even amid clouds of pollen, it’s a big problem. Saliva has a very important role in oral healthy, keeping your mouth moist, aiding in digestion, and, most importantly, washing away the plaque, bacteria, and food particles that collect on and in between your teeth. When these elements attack your teeth – doing their best work while you sleep – you can end up with bad breath, tooth decay, and even gingivitis.
If you can’t change your allergy meds, or aren’t willing to, there are a few things you can do to combat the mouth dryness. Chewing gum with xylitol will help stimulate saliva production. Drinking water throughout the day will also keep your mouth hydrated. But it’s also important to discuss this situation with your biomimetic dentist to find out if he or she has additional suggestions for managing your seasonal allergies while maintaining the integrity of your oral health.
Choose Your Allergy Remedies Carefully
All the forced heat that’s running through residential and commercial buildings throughout the cold Moorestown, NJ, winter keeps you toasty, but it can also take its toll on your health. Before you assume that the sinus pain or sore throat you’re dealing with is yet another cold or respiratory infection, keep in mind that the symptoms you’re experiencing could be the result of allergies. Or both a cold and allergies.
Postnasal drip is caused by inflammation in your sinus pockets and mucus build-up in the nasal cavities and leads to side effects like a sore throat, irritation, and coughing. What’s your go-to remedy for a sore throat? Well, if you’re busy at work or school or on the go, it’s not exactly convenient to gargle whenever you want. So, cough drops or hard candy often take the place of a throat soother. And this is a big mistake.
The constant sugar bath that envelops your teeth when you suck on a cough drop can eventually lead to cavities. At that point, tooth-colored, mercury-free fillings will be necessary. Your biomimetic dentist doesn’t want to see any tooth pain move beyond basic decay. Should your oral health problems become more complicated than a cavity, the goal will always be to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible, even if you need a dental crown as a repair.
Let Your Dentist Diagnose Your Problem
Allergies can be so brutal for some people that the swelling of their sinuses can lead to aching jaws and teeth. But don’t mistake oral health issues for allergy activity. If you are experiencing dry mouth, tooth pain, or sore jaws, see your dentist as soon as possible. These may be side effects of your allergies and the remedies you are using to deal with them, or the symptoms could indicate the presence of a bigger oral health problem.
Contact Moorestown Dental Professionals in Moorestown, NJ, to discuss your oral health and how it can affect your overall well-being during allergy season and beyond.