The passing of winter can be a blessing and a curse. You're not the only one who appreciates the warmer weather, and all the plant life in the vicinity certainly does as well. Spring can be troublesome for anyone suffering from hay fever and general seasonal allergies. The effects of all that sneezing and irritation can be extremely unpleasant. But can allergies be just as unpleasant for your teeth?
A Secondary Effect
It's important to note that hay fever and allergies don't have any direct effect on your teeth. However, your body's response to prolonged, excessive exposure to allergens can have a secondary effect on your dental health. But how?
The sneezing that can be induced by your allergies is a type of uncontrollable convulsion, which expels air from your lungs via your mouth and nose. Infrequent sneezing is little more than a minor inconvenience, but excessive sneezing and the accompanying congestion can have an adverse effect on your teeth.
Excessive sneezing dries out your mouth. The resulting reduced level of saliva robs your teeth of one of their most effective forms of protection. Saliva helps to lubricate your mouth, dislodging food particles. It also contains antimicrobial compounds which help to offset the acid produced by oral bacteria, which is produced by the microorganisms in your mouth when they interact with consumed sugar and carbohydrates. In addition to sneezing, many people also experience congested sinuses due to hay fever.
Congestion (the accumulation of mucus in your sinuses) can sometimes add pressure to the roots of your teeth. This is unlikely to be painful, but it can result in a discomfort similar to a light toothache. If you have an existing periodontal issue, congestion related pressure can aggravate your discomfort. It's important to manage your hay fever.
Hydration and Medication
Be sure to stay hydrated, which prevents your mouth from drying out. Taking antihistamines as needed will also minimise your sneezing. You should also pay attention to your local pollen count, allowing you to lessen your contact with airborne allergens (pollen) when it's especially prevalent. So should someone who experiences bad hay fever be concerned about their dental health?
The negative effects that hay fever can have on your teeth can generally be addressed during your regular dental checkups, which reinforces the importance of attending these appointments. If sinus congestion should trigger symptoms similar to a toothache, you may need to see your dentist. While these symptoms should fade when your hay fever is being effectively managed, lingering discomfort can indicate a periodontal complication intensified by your irritated sinuses.
Managing your hay fever should be enough to avoid any related dental effects, however, if dental discomfort seemingly associated with your allergies should linger (or worsen), it's wise to schedule an appointment with your dentist.