How Can Seasonal Allergies Affect My Mouth?
Spring is in the air, which also means people who experience seasonal allergies are starting to sniffle and sneeze. Every spring, people come into Sunrise Dental complaining of tooth pain or other dental issues. They often wonder whether allergies can cause swollen gums, dry mouth, or mouth ulcers. The answer to all of these questions is yes—here’s why.
How do seasonal allergies affect my teeth?
To fully understand how seasonal allergies could impact your teeth, first you have to know what causes them. Seasonal allergies are actually an overactive immune response. They typically occur in the spring when blooming flowers, grass, trees, and other plants release pollen into the air. When the pollen enters through your nose and mouth, your body senses that it is under attack and activates your immune system.
Seasonal allergy sufferers experience symptoms very similar to those of a cold or the flu:
- Runny and/or stuffed-up nose
- Watery and/or itchy eyes
- Itchy throat
- Postnasal drip
Because your mouth is part of your respiratory system, any symptoms or discomfort caused by seasonal allergies could also impact the way your teeth feel. Here are a few ways in which seasonal allergies can cause dental issues.
Dry Mouth from Seasonal Allergies
Can seasonal allergies cause dry mouth? Yes, most definitely. When you have a stuffy nose from seasonal allergies, you tend to breathe through your mouth more often. This makes your mouth dry, and causes symptoms like difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, bad breath, and excessive thirst.
Additionally, some seasonal allergy medications (such as decongestants and antihistamines) can also cause dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, it’s even easier for bacteria to multiply and build up into plaque and tartar.
Dry mouth also makes it difficult for your mouth to produce enough saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles. You’ll need to drink extra water to keep your mouth hydrated and clean.
Seasonal Allergies and Tooth Pain
Spring allergies and tooth pain often go hand in hand. Because dry mouth also messes with its natural pH balance, your teeth are not as protected from bacteria. This can speed up tooth decay, causing tooth pain.
Pressure from inflamed sinuses can also cause tooth pain. When your sinuses are filled with mucus from seasonal allergies, they exert pressure on the roots of your upper back teeth, causing pain.
Swollen Gums and Mouth Ulcers
Can allergies cause swollen gums? Again, the answer is yes. Dry mouth from seasonal allergies can make your gums swell, leaving them more vulnerable to bacteria and minor injuries like cuts and scrapes.
This is why seasonal allergies can sometimes lead to canker sores or mouth ulcers. However, mouth ulcers can also occur as an allergic response to bacteria in your mouth or because of sensitivity to a specific allergen.
Tooth Pain Relief in Peoria, Arizona
Springtime is a beautiful time of year. However, for people with seasonal allergies, it can also be very uncomfortable. If you believe your seasonal allergies are causing dental issues, call Sunrise Dental today at 623-526-1154. Our dentists can provide you with a thorough examination and help you find relief from tooth pain.
Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash