There’s nothing like warm enough weather for jumping in the pool. However, for many who suffer from seasonal allergies, summer isn’t always about sunshine and making memories. Days can be filled with itchy eyes, congestion, and sore throat, making an impact on your overall and oral health.
One of the most common side effects of allergies in summer is dry mouth. Whether you’re taking decongestants or nasal sprays, it’s likely you’re breathing through your mouth when congested. This can easily lead to reduced saliva production.
Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, washing away food particles, and preventing bacterial growth. When there’s a lack of saliva, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases. To combat dry mouth, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consider using sugar-free gum or a saliva substitute like Biotene to stimulate saliva flow.
Additionally, breathing through the mouth may lead to bad breath, as the mouth becomes a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. If you find yourself mouth breathing due to allergies, try using a saline nasal spray to relieve congestion and breathe more comfortably through your nose.
The increased production of mucus in the respiratory tract due to allergies can lead to post-nasal drip, which may trigger acid reflux episodes. Acid reflux brings stomach acids into the mouth, and if this happens frequently, it can erode the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and decay.
Sinus pain is a common symptom of seasonal allergies. When the sinuses become inflamed and swollen, they can put pressure on the roots of nearby teeth, leading to dental sensitivity and discomfort. An allergy medicine with a decongestant may help. Maintain proper oral hygiene, and if the sensitivity persists, consult your dentist for an exam to rule out any underlying problems.
As you enjoy the summer months, don’t forget to pay attention to your oral health, especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies. By being proactive, you can protect your teeth and gums during allergy season and maintain a healthy smile throughout the summer. To learn more about oral health and allergies, contact our office!