Allergies, especially now that we have entered spring, have very obvious ways of affecting allergy sufferers: watery eyes and nose, mucus accumulation and possible sinus pain. In general, these are pretty unpleasant and annoying symptoms.
But what about oral health – do seasonal allergies affect the mouth?
As you might expect, the fact that because of some seasonal allergy you may feel pain around your nose and mouth could be a sign that your oral health may also be compromised is not incongruous.
We’re not necessarily talking about major damage, but we are talking about an impact. Knowing how these allergies interact with your oral health is winning half the battle because it will allow you to counteract the oral problems they can create.
Why do my teeth hurt when I have allergies?
One especially noticeable problem can be toothache, which may not seem like an obvious side effect of an allergy until you experience it.
This toothache sensation is the result of a buildup of mucus that fills the hollow spaces in the sinuses and ultimately puts pressure on the roots of the teeth, which can cause considerable discomfort.
The pain will pass as the allergy subsides, but when symptoms extend until the bloom is over, this may be of little comfort. Other problems are related to lack of saliva in the mouth, a common byproduct of seasonal allergies.
Saliva is essential for fighting bacteria, helping to prevent tooth decay; as soon as there is a lack of saliva the conditions in the mouth change to be much more favorable to the rapid production of bad bacteria.
Why do allergies cause a reduction in saliva? One key reason is that allergy symptoms cause a higher prevalence of mouth breathing, as the nose is too blocked to breathe easily. Mouth breathing, especially at night, leads to dry mouth (xerostomia) and a whole host of related problems can follow.
The lack of saliva and the likely resulting increase in bacteria make tooth decay more likely. If the problem is not corrected or controlled, the likelihood of gum problems, both gingivitis and periodontitis, which is more serious, can increase.
Bad breath is another unwanted visitor associated with dry mouth and lack of saliva.