Plenty of allergens can cause itching, burning eyes or sneezing at any time of year, but those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies know that the worst of it arrives every spring and autumn. The greater Kansas City area gets hit pretty hard with tree pollen, ragweed, chenopod, and grass pollen, to name a few.
But allergens can do more than make you sneeze. They can have significant effects on your health. If you’ve noticed a change in your oral health as spring arrives, you’re not alone. Here are a few of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies that can affect your oral health and what you can do about them.
Allergy season can lead to dry mouth. In part, your nose is probably stopped up due to allergies, and you’re breathing through your mouth a lot more. On top of that, the antihistamines in many allergy remedies reduce the production of mucus in your sinuses, which can have the side effect of reducing saliva, worsening dry mouth symptoms.
You may feel like you have a toothache. Sinus pressure can result in pain not just in your nose but in your face, forehead, and jaw, especially the upper molars, which are just below your largest sinuses. This pain can feel an awful lot like a toothache. If you’re experiencing toothache-like symptoms, however, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Go ahead and contact your Overland Park dentist for a checkup!
Allergies may cause a sore throat. Post-nasal drip is one of the most common causes of sore throat, and post-nasal drip – which is simply mucus from your sinuses draining down the back of your throat – is a common symptom of seasonal allergies. This means that sore throats and allergy season, unfortunately, go hand in hand.
What can you do? Luckily, you don’t have to take allergy season lying down. While allergies are somewhat unavoidable, and there are bound to be times of year (early and late spring, late summer and early autumn) that are worse than others, there are things you can do to help reduce symptoms.
Keep an eye on the pollen count, and try to limit your exposure on days when it is high. Keep the windows closed on high pollen days, and avoid venturing out when it’s particularly dry or windy and more of the pollen is likely to be in the air. If you do go out, you can cut down on the amount of pollen and other allergens that get into your house by changing clothes and taking a quick shower as soon as you get home.
Probably the most important thing to do is to ask your doctor about treating your allergies and their symptoms. If you have any questions about how allergies affect your oral health, your Overland Park dentist is always here to help. Regular visits to Watts Family Dental can help determine whether your symptoms are just allergies or are part of a larger problem. Just call (913) 338-3384 today to schedule an appointment or chat with a member of our friendly staff!