There are two things that you may not realize about seasonal allergies in Las Vegas:
- First, they’re a big – and growing problem.
- Second, allergies also have a negative effect on your oral health.
Allergies and Your Teeth
The CBS affiliate, Channel 8 TV, Las Vegas Now, had an article on how Las Vegas residents are suffering from spring allergies. The typical culprits causing all the sneezing and wheezing are juniper, mulberry, pollen, and plain old weeds. The desert dryness exacerbates the problem, making people cough and sneeze more frequently, especially in the spring.
But the allergies that plague us in the spring can also affect our teeth and gums. Here are some common and uncomfortable symptoms of allergies and how you can fight them:
- First, don’t be surprised if the sinus pressure and pain you experience resonates down into your teeth. Your sinuses are hollow cavities in your face around your eyes and nose. The maxillary sinus, which is the largest, resides just over your mouth. When allergies hit, these spaces fill up with mucus. This, in turn, causes your face and teeth to ache. The pressure pushes downward into the roots of your top molars. You may notice hot or cold sensitivity. Over-the-counter antihistamines may help, along with aspirin. You may also want to switch to a toothpaste for tooth sensitivity like Sensodyne for awhile until the symptoms decrease. But if a toothache persists, there could be another problem. Call us to have the tooth pain checked out.
- Second, allergies may also give you dry mouth. Breathing through your mouth when your nose is stuffy is common. This dries out your mouth. In fact, so does that antihistamine we just recommended! But saliva is the body’s natural way of washing off the teeth and it helps prevent cavities and bad breath. Be sure to drink lots of water if you have allergies to counteract this problem.
- Third, all that sinus drainage can cause a sore throat during allergy season. Drinking lots of water can help your throat feel better, along with sucking on sugar-free throat lozenges. But you can also gargle with a warm saltwater solution, carefully spitting the water out, to help soothe the throat. Dissolve a tablespoon of table salt in a glass of warm tap water, gargle, and spit. This can disinfect your mouth and cool a sore throat. The salt water is healing, so wait a half hour before drinking more fluids.
Controlling your allergy symptoms will help alleviate any impact on your teeth and gums.
Following an oral hygiene regimen even when you feel stuffy, wheezy, and sneezy is very important. Make sure you follow Dr. Hadley’s recommendations for flossing, brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash while avoiding sugary treats. If you find that you’re struggling mightily with allergies, perhaps it’s time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist or even an allergist.
As always, contact our team if you have tooth pain that sticks around more than a few days or any other issues that we can help with.