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Spring seems to have sprung a little early here in Overland Park and the greater Kansas City area, and while the warmer weather is nice, the early arrival of spring also means an earlier arrival of seasonal allergies. In fact, the pollen forecast for the Overland Park area is already medium to medium-high! This means that those who suffer from, say, Maple and Juniper allergens may have already started to notice sneezing or itchy, watery eyes when they go outside. What you may not know is that seasonal allergies can also take a toll on your oral health. Fortunately, your Overland Park dentist is here to walk you through some of the most common effects of allergies on dental health and what you can do to help!
Toothache Symptoms. While allergies may not directly affect your teeth, they can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion, which can feel an awful lot like a toothache. This is problematic not only because nobody wants to experience sinus pain, but also because it can mask actual dental problems. If you assume that your toothache pain is actually sinus pressure, you can allow oral health concerns to go untreated, which can lead to bigger problems down the road.
Dry Mouth. Allergies can also dry out your mouth, which is not only uncomfortable, but also increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease, not to mention bad breath. You see, your saliva helps to clear particles out of your mouth and keep your teeth and gums clean. When your mouth is dry, these particles can stay put and promote tooth decay and more!
Sore Throat. Whether due to inflammation or sinus drainage, seasonal allergies can also contribute to sore throat conditions. Plus, in all their forms, seasonal allergies can have an overall impact on your health, including making it tough to get enough sleep at night, whether owing to sore throat, sinus pressure, headache, runny nose, or any other combination of symptoms.
So, what can you do about seasonal allergies? That depends on their severity and on what symptoms you’re experiencing. Many allergy sufferers experience seasonal allergies every spring, and often rely on over-the-counter medications that help alleviate their symptoms. Before taking anything, however, you should always consult your physician, especially if allergies are a new thing for you.
If you’re experiencing toothache-like symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to contact your Overland Park dentist for a checkup. While it could be sinus pressure, it could also be the beginnings of a cavity or other dental condition, and it’s best to catch those things early! As for treating dry mouth, your Overland Park dentist can help with that, too, though a few simple tricks are to stay hydrated, keep a glass of water on your nightstand, and, of course, remember to brush your teeth and floss regularly! It also might be a good idea to take some sugar-free gum with you to work or school so that you can keep your saliva glands working and reduce any bad breath you experience during the day.
Fortunately, seasonal allergies are just that—seasonal—so while spring may have shown up a little early in the KC area this year, things should also clear up in a few weeks. However, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms—whether they’re the result of seasonal allergies or not—it’s a great time to schedule an appointment to speak with your Overland Park dentist at Watts Family Dental! Just give us a call at (913) 338-3384 or stop by our offices in Overland Park any time!