The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that “more than 50 million of Americans have experienced various types of allergies each year” and that “allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.”
Even in reading those statistics, you’re probably nodding your head along in agreement.
Allergies have become commonplace with many suffering year round, not just seasonally. With allergies being so prevalent, could there be a connection between allergies and dental health?
The short answer is, “Yes!”
Sinus Pain or Dental Pain?
Our bodies are extremely interdependent and connected. In our face alone, the largest sinus cavity – the maxillary sinuses – can cause discomfort as they lie right above your mouth.
That’s why, when the pressure increases in your maxillary sinuses, you feel it in your upper teeth/molar area.
There can be a dull ache that persists until the pressure is relieved.
You may even experience a sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures or pain while you’re eating.
Many people who experience these types of symptoms enlist the help of an antihistamine.
However, if the antihistamine does not seem to help alleviate the discomfort over the recommended amount of time, you should call Dr. Silverman and the team at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. There may be tooth decay exacerbating your already-present allergy symptoms.
What Other Dental Symptoms Could I Be Experiencing?
Because we naturally breathe through our noses most, when allergies present themselves, we move toward utilizing our mouths to help us catch a breath – especially at night while we are sleeping.
Unfortunately, this can lead to dry mouth.
Dry mouth can, at first, appear as just a common nuisance because you simply can’t breathe, but the trouble comes when dry mouth persists and creates a habitat for bacteria to thrive.
And, to add insult to injury, one of the side effects of antihistamines is dry mouth.
The University of Kentucky’s School of Dentistry found that “saliva plays a critical role in washing away bits of food and plaque from the teeth. A lack of saliva leaves the teeth susceptible to bad breath, cavities, and even gingivitis.”
With that knowledge, it’s a good idea to stay on top of ongoing dry mouth so that your dental health does not become compromised.
If you have a runny nose from allergies, chances are you’ve ended up with a sore throat, as well. Persistent allergies can cause drainage to the back of your throat and not only will you end up with a sore throat, but you may start noticing bad breath.
When you were younger, your grandma may have recommended you gargle with warm salt water.
Guess what? She was right!
Gargling with warm salt water will not only calm your throat, but it will help rinse out any bacteria that is causing bad breath. Thanks, grandma!
How Can I Take Care of Myself?
Drink Water – Water will always be your best friend. Stay hydrated while also flushing out any leftover mucus that could be building up and causing ongoing allergy issues. Carry a water bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day. Your body will thank you.
Don’t Stop Brushing and Flossing – The daily habit of brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day will cut down on dry mouth and bacteria buildup. Keeping up with this routine will protect your teeth in the long run.
Talk with Your Dentist – Your dentist should also be a key part of your fight against allergies. They can help guide you towards allergy solutions while also treating any dental problems that come up. Stay in contact with them as they are here to help!