Leaves falling may be a sight for the eyes, but for those with allergies, it can become a cue to stock up on the tissue boxes. Though beautiful, the crisp air and falling leaves can trigger a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes. While a large focus is on respiratory issues, did you know allergies can also impact your oral health?
The Impact of Fall Allergies on Oral Health
With as much focus on relieving sneezing and itchy eyes, it’s easy for the impact of allergies on teeth and gums to get overlooked. However, pollen particles and other irritants can trickle down to your oral health creating issues like:
Dry Mouth: Many allergy medications, including antihistamines, can cause a decrease in saliva production. Saliva is essential for maintaining oral health, as it helps rinse away food particles and bacteria. If you’re forced to breathe through your mouth, this can also contribute to dryness. When your mouth is dry, there’s an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Bad Breath: Fall allergies often lead to sinus congestion and postnasal drip. These symptoms can irritate the throat and the back of the mouth, potentially causing discomfort and a scratchy throat. In severe cases, persistent postnasal drip can lead to bad breath. Sinus pressure may present as a toothache, so try an allergy medicine with a decongestant, such as Zyrtec-D or Claritin-D to relieve discomfort.
Tips for Managing Fall Allergies and Protecting Your Oral Health
It may seem like nothing can lessen the impact of allergies, but there are several ways to take care of your oral health during allergy season!
Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is an effective way to combat dry mouth. Stay well-hydrated to keep your saliva production in check.
Use Sugar-Free Gum or Lozenges: Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free lozenges can stimulate saliva production, reducing the risk of dry mouth.
Rinse Your Mouth: After exposure to allergens or taking allergy medications, rinse your mouth with water to help remove any lingering particles.
Manage Your Oral Health at Southern Dental Fort Smith
Fall allergies can wreak havoc on your oral health, but with proper care and management, you can minimize their impact. If you’re noticing an impact of allergies on your oral health, like bad breath or sore throat, get in touch with our office. We can help you manage your oral health during allergy season!