Nobody enjoys the annoying symptoms of allergies. The stuffy nose, watery eyes, and constant nasal drip are enough to make some people do anything they can to avoid their allergens. At our dental office, we’d like to give you just one more reason to hate your allergies. The truth is, the symptoms related to allergies can also affect your oral health.
Dry Mouth: A Bigger Problem Than You Might Think
Perhaps the biggest way allergies affect oral health is by causing dry mouth. When our noses are too stuffy to breathe out of them properly, we resort to the next best thing: breathing out of our mouths. Mouth breathing really slows down saliva production and leaves your mouth feeling uncomfortably dry. And when the mouth is dry with no saliva to help wash away bacteria and neutralize acids, your teeth are left exposed. This can make you more likely to have tooth decay, chronically bad breath, or can even lead to gum disease. Gum disease, if left untreated, can affect the rest of your body by increasing the risk for stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.
More on Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing is such a concern for your dentist that it’s worth talking about the other ways it can affect your dental health. Whether mouth breathing is caused by allergies or not, the truth is it can even cause changes in appearance and developmental problems in children. When kids habitually have to breathe out of their mouths instead of their noses, it can influence how their teeth develop. Children who suffer from allergies also tend to suffer from crooked teeth which may require braces or other orthodontic treatment.
Medicine Can Make Dry Mouth Worse
To help ease allergy symptoms and clear out sinuses so we can breathe out of our noses easier, many of us turn to medicine. Most allergy medicines available list dry mouth as a potential side effect. So while you may be solving one problem by reducing sinus stuffiness, you may be creating another by the very thing that helped you get relief. To combat dry mouth caused by medicine, talk to your doctor for other solutions or try:
- Chewing sugar-free gum
- Using mouthwash made to help lubricate the mouth
- Drinking plenty of water
- Putting a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep
Don’t stop any medicines without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.
If you are suffering from allergies or dry mouth perhaps caused by them, it’s evermore important to maintain regular visits to our dental office. Appointments every six months can help catch any potential dental issues caused by dry mouth and treat them before they lead to the need for advanced treatment or cause pain.
We’re always welcoming new patients at our dental office in Collierville. Call to schedule your appointment today!