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Allergies, Hayfever and your mouth

February 23, 2023 Dental health Family dentistry

Allergies, Hayfever and your mouth.
In Australia, a large proportion of the population suffer from seasonal allergies and Hayfever.
There are some obvious ways this impacts on a persons health such as a runny nose, streaming eyes, build-up of mucous and possibly sinus pain.
However, what about the impact on the mouth and oral state? The fact that allergies have such an impact around the mouth and nose is a sign that oral health may be adversely affected. Knowing that allergies interact with your oral health will help to counter some of the problems they can create.
Allergies and Hayfever cause a build-up of mucous in the hollow spaces in our nasal sinuses. As pressure increases in the sinuses, this pressure may be felt as tooth ache as the pressure is translated to the roots of the teeth.
Allergies often lead to the nose becoming too blocked for easy breathing, increasing the prevalence of mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is common in people suffering from allergies. Mouth breathing, especially overnight, leads to a dry mouth (xerostomia) and this may lead to a whole range of related problems.
Saliva is essential to fight bacteria, helping to prevent tooth decay. As soon as there is a lack of saliva, conditions in the mouth change and are more favourable for the reproduction of bad bacteria. A lack of saliva makes cavities and decay more likely and will increase the risk of gum disease.
Bad breath is also common in people with dry mouth due to a lack of saliva.
Common treatments for allergies include antihistamines. Although these medications work well to lessen the symptoms of hay fever, they also tend to reduce saliva, exaggerating the dry mouth feeling. Frequent sips of water throughout the day will help to counter the dry feeling. In severe cases, the use of artificial saliva tablets or spray may be helpful.
Hayfever and seasonal allergies should not cause major damage to your oral health long term, but it is worth knowing what impact they may have and how best to counteract any symptoms.
Should you routinely suffer from allergies, it is worth mentioning it to your dentist at your next check up so they can actively look for any detrimental signs or damage.