Don’t Let Allergies Affect Your Oral Health

A thousand blended notes, flowers aflame, sweet thoughts and pleasant mood –  Spring comes with many signs. Spring season is also the time when allergies begin to flourish. Lovely breeze carries the pollens for hundreds of miles and so even if the plant or tree does not grow near you, it can still cause your allergies to flare up. This season also stirs up dust mites which are a common cause for allergic reactions like runny nose. These allergies often manifest through our respiratory tract with symptoms like stuffed nose, sneezing, watery eyes and irritated sinuses. All that sniffling, sneezing and breathing through the mouth can bring trouble for your teeth.

HOW SEASONAL ALLERGIES AFFECT ORAL HEALTH

While the allergies do not damage the teeth directly, they can indirectly cause problems in your oral cavity. Allergies and oral health do often interact in surprising ways.

Dry Mouth

The antihistamines used to treat allergies or an increased frequency in mouth breathing may cause dry mouth. Saliva in our oral cavity helps to wash off food particles, digest food and neutralize cavity causing acids. Mouth breathing causes decrease in saliva production leading to dry mouth. This may damage the gums and teeth. When there is not enough saliva in the mouth, it increases the risk of periodontal (gum) diseases and tooth decay.

Bad Breath

Dry mouth is not the only allergy related condition. Increase in bacteria due to post nasal drip may lead to bad breath. Mucous causes pressure in the sinus cavity. Since the location of sinus is above the mouth, sometimes this may even cause toothache in the upper row of teeth.

Swollen gums

Allergies are notorious in causing post nasal drip and this may result in swollen tonsils. This combined with dry mouth and bacteria build-up may cause swollen and sore gums. Swollen gums make it difficult to brush properly and over a period of time, this may lead to irritated gums, gingivitis and gum disease.

Canker sores

Canker sores can be one of the most irritating maladies, oral ulcers and cause difficulty in eating and speaking.  Allergies can cause mouth dryness and soreness which might cause canker sores on the inside of your mouth.

SO, WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS?

The good news is remedies are available.

Stay hydrated This helps to retain moisture, reduce dryness while also washing away the bacteria.

Gargle with salt water Dissolve a spoon of table salt in a glass of warm water and gargle without swallowing until the glass of water is gone. Swishing with a mouthwash will also help in creating an oral health booster. Dente91 Mouthwash is an alcohol-free; cool mint flavoured mouthwash enriched with Lactoferrin to ensure healthy teeth and gums. It is also free from fluoride, detergent and sugar.

Brush and Floss regularly Brush your teeth twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Choose Toothpaste with good ingredients. Floss your teeth every day and specially before bedtime, to ensure that no food particles are left lodged between the teeth.

Treat your allergies Keep a check on your allergy symptoms, consult a doctor and take medications to keep your allergies under control.

Reference:

Iran J Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Mar; 27(79): 145–153