Allergies and Your Smile – What Is the Relationship?

With spring now behind us and summer in full bloom, we have a whole other wave of allergens to look forward to. Not only that, but then comes the fall allergens. Ragweed, grass and weed pollen are among the culprits during these seasons.

When we think of allergies, we typically think of itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. Not many of us consider or even connect the association between seasonal allergies and our oral health. But believe it or not, the two are related.

How Allergies Affect Your Oral Health

One of the more obvious oral health issues that come about around the allergy seasons is a sore throat. A scratchy, sore and even hoarse throat during the allergy seasons can be the result of a few things:

-Dry mouth. Dry mouth is an important contributing factor to many oral health issues from tooth decay to a sore, itchy or hoarse throat. Dry mouth occurs when not enough saliva is produced to moisten the mouth and throat. This can lead to a throat that becomes irritated and painful.

-Post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip is the result of excessive mucus draining down the back of the throat. Post-nasal drip causes a painful stinging in the back of the throat that is often times worse at night when this excess fluid has more difficulty draining due to body position.

Inflammation. This can happen during allergy season as your body reacts to the allergens. This can cause the throat to swell and become very sore.

Congestion, which goes hand in hand with allergies, also affects your oral health. Congestion of the maxillary sinuses, which are located directly above the molars, can cause irritation and lead to tooth sensitivity, sharp pain and a dull ache.

Though the effects of the allergy seasons on your oral health can be a bit of a pain (quite literally), the good news is that they will not last forever. If you are experiencing issues related to allergies and your oral health, you can rest assured that they will likely resolve in around 2-4 weeks.

Please contact us if you have any questions about allergies affecting your oral health.