Allergy season presents quite a few challenges, but could that persistent cough and sinus pressure go so far as to affect your smile? It might, but not in the way it sounds. The relation between your smile and your allergies is the discomfort that may stem from allergy symptoms. Here, we point out a few ways that allergy season may keep you from smiling freely.
Dry mouth may occur simultaneous to allergy symptoms for two reasons. First, when you’re congested, there is a greater likelihood that you will breathe through your mouth rather than your nose. This is an apparent factor in dry mouth. Second, if you take allergy medication, dry mouth is one of the common side effects you may experience. Most allergy medicine contains antihistamine ingredients. While good for reducing runny nose and post-nasal drip, antihistamine use can dry the mouth and increase the risk of bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.
The oral structure is fascinating in that the nerves that travel to our teeth first bypass through the maxillary sinus. This sinus cavity is located on each side of the nose, just above the upper arch of teeth. When allergies (or even a common cold) create sinus pressure, the nerves to the teeth at the upper, back part of the mouth may hurt. In mild cases, the sensation may be more like sensitivity to hot and cold. If sinus pressure becomes substantial enough to press on the roots of teeth, pain may feel more like a toothache. Tooth pain related to sinus symptoms should improve with the use of antihistamine medication.
Oral Care Through Allergy Season
A few ways to minimize the effects of allergies on your oral comfort and health include:
- Drink plenty of water. Eight glasses of water a day is recommended, but the body actually needs more. The average adult woman should consume about 90 ounces of water a day. Adult men need about 125 ounces of water daily to stay hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the less mucus accumulation you should experience.
- Treat allergies as needed. Some people can manage allergy symptoms by avoiding outdoor activities during times when the pollen count is high. Over-the-counter or prescription treatment may also be needed to prevent frustrating symptoms.
- Gargle with warm salty water. Salt water can draw mucus out of the sinuses and relieve symptoms related to sinus pressure. Also, the warm salt mixture combats bacteria that could cause infection in the throat or back of the mouth. The reduced accumulation of bacteria achieved with salt-water rinses can prevent bad breath.
To make sure dental symptoms are not caused by problems like decay, be sure to stay up to date with routine exams and cleanings with your Grayslake dentist. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit.