According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 17 million adults were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, in 2012. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, chances are you know how to treat the traditional symptoms associated with this condition – such as a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. However, what you might not be aware of is the impact seasonal allergies can have on your oral health. Here are a three common oral symptoms often associated with seasonal allergies, and what you can do to get some relief:
Pain and Pressure
One of the most irritating and common symptoms of seasonal allergies is sinus pressure. According to WebMD, this pain and pressure occurs when the sinuses found forehead, cheeks and behind each eye become congested and cannot drain properly.
In some cases, when the sinuses found behind your cheekbones become congested, the pressure can be felt in your teeth and gums. You may attribute this pain to another oral health issue, such as tooth decay, but in many cases, the uncomfortable pressure is actually caused by congestion associated with seasonal allergies.
Luckily, there are several simple ways to relieve the pressure in your sinuses and mouth. Taking an oral antihistamine is one way to get some relief quickly. If you prefer a more natural approach, placing a warm compress on your cheeks and forehead will help unclog your sinuses, which allows them to drain.
If you've tried several home remedies and cannot find any relief, it's time to visit your dentist or doctor to determine if you have a more serious issue affecting your sinuses, such as an infection.
From nasal decongestants to an herbal remedy your friends swear by, if it weren't for all the medications used to treat seasonal allergies, you might not be able to make it through the spring and fall without going crazy!
Unfortunately, while these medications are a lifesaver, they can also have one unfortunate side effect that will negatively impact your oral health: dry mouth. From making sure your breath stays sweet to eliminating any leftover food particle and nasty germs, saliva is integral to your mouth's health.
If you're experiencing dry mouth, there are several ways to find relief, including:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day – including with each meal
- Remember to breath through your nose, instead of your mouth
- Chew a few sticks of sugar free gum throughout the day
- Talk to your dentist about saliva substitutes – which are available over the counter
That Nagging Sore Throat
While suffering through allergy season, do you often wake up in the morning with a nasty taste in your mouth and a sore throat? In most cases, that burning sensation you feel at the back of your throat is caused by post-nasal drip — that feeling that makes you clear your throat throughout the day.
Luckily, post-nasal drip is an annoyance that won't have any lasting impact on your oral health – but it can lead to bad breath. If this occurs, consider adding a mouth wash to your oral health routine.
There are several ways you can find relief from post-nasal drip, and the sore throat it can cause. Sleeping with your head slightly elevated, taking decongestants and avoiding eating or drinking at least one hour before bedtime are a few simple ways you prevent any throat irritation that is linked to post-nasal drip.
If your sore throat lasts longer than a few days, or if it is accompanied by a fever, don't hesitate to visit your doctor immediately.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for seasonal allergies, which means you're left with no other choice but to control the symptoms associated with this common issue. If you're experiencing any oral health problems associated with seasonal allergies, work with your dentist, like one at The Center For Progressive Dentistry, or doctor to find a plan of action that will provide you with some much needed relief.