According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, approximately 50 million Americans are impacted by allergies each year. Many people suffer with the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies – including a stuffy nose, watery eyes and sneezing – but there are other ways that the irritants can impact your health. Here are a few of the lesser known oral symptoms commonly associated with seasonal allergies, and what you can do to find relief:
Tooth Aches and Inflammation
When your body comes into contact with pollen, grass, dander or ragweed in the spring, your immune system goes on the defensive. In order to protect your body, your immune system produces a chemical called histamines. These histamines cause your sinuses to become inflamed, which in turn leads to the common symptoms associated with seasonal allergies, including sinus pain and pressure.
Unfortunately, two of the sinus canals that are most commonly impacted by grass, pollen and ragweed are found in your cheeks. When the sinuses don't drain properly, which they often don't, it can lead to increased pressure and pain in your teeth and gums, particularly your molars. However, if you are particularly sensitive to allergens, you can feel pain and pressure in several or all of your upper teeth.
Additionally, seasonal allergies can also cause increased tooth sensitivity. This is because of the increased pressure on your each tooth's nerve.
If you are suffering from pain and pressure in your teeth and gums during allergy season, don't hesitate to contact your dentist immediately. The pain you are feeling might be a signal of an underlying dental condition that is being exacerbated by your seasonal allergy issue.
In addition to taking over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications, there are several ways you can find relief from your tooth and gum pain. For example, nasal irrigation can help moisten your sinuses and get rid of any excess mucus, both of which can help relieve all of the symptoms of nasal allergies.
In an attempt to find relief, many seasonal allergy sufferers turn to over-the-counter and prescription medications. Unfortunately, many of these medications can cause a potentially devastating side effect: dry mouth.
The dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which can be very dangerous for your oral health. Saliva contains several antibacterial properties which protect your mouth from decay and keeps your breath smelling sweet.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, ask your doctor or dentist about ways you can find relief. Switching medications can often help you find relief. However, if this isn't possible or every medication causes dry mouth, there are other options. For example, there are over-the-counter saliva substitutes available. Chewing sugar-free gum, cutting back on your caffeine consumption and quitting smoking can also help relieve your symptoms of dry mouth.
Finally, if you begin to notice a dry, scratchy or sore throat during the spring, your seasonal allergies could be the culprit. When your sinuses drain down the back of your throat, it can lead to severe pain and irritation. Additionally, if you cough or swallow excessively because of the excess mucus, you might also suffer from throat pain.
Luckily, there are several natural ways you can find relief. One of the most effective ways is to gargle with salt water. The salt water helps clear away any bacteria and mucus found on your throat, which can put a sudden end to any pain.
Drinking more water and using a nasal irrigator can also help you find relief.
From tooth pain and sensitivity to dry mouth, there are several ways that seasonal allergies can impact your oral health. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately to help determine if seasonal allergies is the culprit, or if there is another, more serious cause.
For more information, contact a practice like Renovo Endodontic Studio.