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Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Oral Health

Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Oral Health

AllergiesSpring has sprung! And, that means the temperatures are getting warmer and the April showers are bringing May flowers. All is good! Except that is, for seasonal allergies that come along with all those May flowers this time of year. From itchy eyes, to alternating runny/stuffy noses, and uncontrollable sneezing, many allergy sufferers across Texas know the pains of this seasonal dilemma. But, did you know seasonal allergies can also affect oral health? We, here at Paul Griffin, DDS, want to make sure you know how your teeth and mouth can be affected by seasonal allergies.

Tooth Pain

Have you ever experienced a toothache, in your upper teeth, from out of nowhere and thought it was a little peculiar? Turns out, it may not be a toothache at all, but instead symptoms of your seasonal allergies that are acting up. Your body’s immune reaction to the allergens in your system causes mucus to build up in the sinus cavities, which in turn, causes congestion, pressure and pain. When the maxillary sinuses, which are located just above the roots of the upper molars, are affected it can cause the molars, and sometimes premolars, to be sensitive to cold, biting or chewing, and sometimes even cause a throbbing sensation.

Dry Mouth

As if the pain and discomfort from your clogged sinuses and aching teeth weren’t enough, many allergy sufferers tend to suffer from dry mouth, as well. Allergies themselves, along with allergy medications, decongestants, and oral inhalers you use can make your mouth become extremely dry. This can really affect your oral health because saliva, which is full of antibacterial enzymes, is known to help prevent decay, and keep your breath and mouth from smelling and feeling like an old shoe. When your mouth becomes dry, you put yourself at risk for bad breath, tooth decay (cavities), gingivitis, and periodontitis.

If you suffer from dry mouth, drink plenty of water to keep your oral tissues moist, and alleviate dryness. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol is recommended to encourage saliva production and xylitol is proven to help reduce cavities. There are also oral rinses and other solutions that may alleviate symptoms.

Mouth Breathing

A stuffy nose due to allergy congestion can result in breathing through the mouth causing dry mouth. Air against oral tissue dries up saliva, this lack of saliva causes to the gingival, or gum, tissue to become dry which can lead to swelling, gum sensitivity, and tooth decay. Research indicates that mouth breathing can actually change the shape of your face and alter your appearance. This is especially true for children because they are still growing. When breathing through the mouth, the tongue rests on floor of the mouth, causing cheek muscles to relax onto the upper teeth. This long-term pressure can lead to crooked teeth, dental overbites, as well as palate malformations.

So how do you know if that toothache is an actual infection or if it’s just your allergies playing tricks on you? Give us a call, at 972-242-2155, or, use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page, and we can schedule you an appointment. Dr. Griffin and his team can help get you fixed up no matter if it’s allergies or a more serious issue.

Seasonal Allergies and Your Teeth

Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PASpring has sprung! Warm weather is here and all is good! Except that is, for seasonal allergies that decide to join us this time of year. From itchy eyes, to alternating runny/stuffy noses, and uncontrollable sneezing, many allergy sufferers across Texas know the pains of this seasonal dilemma. But, did you know seasonal allergies can also affect your teeth and mouth? We, here at Paul Griffin, DDS, want to make sure you know how your teeth and mouth can be affected by seasonal allergies.

Tooth Pain

Have you ever experienced a toothache, in your upper teeth, from out of nowhere and thought it was a little peculiar? Turns out, it may not be a toothache at all, but instead symptoms of your seasonal allergies that are acting up. Your body’s immune reaction to the allergens in your system causes mucus to build up in the sinus cavities, which in turn, causes congestion, pressure and pain. When the maxillary sinuses, which are located just above the roots of the upper molars, are affected it can cause the molars, and sometimes premolars, to be sensitive to cold, biting or chewing, and sometimes even cause a throbbing sensation.

Dry Mouth

As if the pain and discomfort from your clogged sinuses and aching teeth weren’t enough, many allergy sufferers tend to suffer from dry mouth, as well. Allergies themselves, along with allergy medications, decongestants, and oral inhalers you use can make your mouth become extremely dry. This can really affect your oral health because saliva, which is full of antibacterial enzymes, is known to help prevent decay, and keep your breath and mouth from smelling and feeling like an old shoe. When your mouth becomes dry, you put yourself at risk for bad breath, tooth decay (cavities), gingivitis, and periodontitis.

If you suffer from dry mouth, drink plenty of water to keep your oral tissues moist, and alleviate dryness. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol is recommended to encourage saliva production and xylitol is proven to help reduce cavities. There are also oral rinses and other solutions that may alleviate symptoms.

Mouth Breathing

A stuffy nose due to allergy congestion can result in breathing through the mouth causing dry mouth. Air against oral tissue dries up saliva, this lack of saliva causes to the gingival, or gum, tissue to become dry which can lead to swelling, gum sensitivity, and tooth decay. Research indicates that mouth breathing can actually change the shape of your face and alter your appearance. This is especially true for children because they are still growing. When breathing through the mouth, the tongue rests on floor of the mouth, causing cheek muscles to relax onto the upper teeth. This long-term pressure can lead to crooked teeth, dental overbites, as well as palate malformations.

 

So how do you know if that toothache is an actual infection or if it’s just your allergies playing tricks on you? Give us a call, at 972-242-2155, or, use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page, and we can schedule you an appointment. Dr. Griffin and his team can help get you fixed up no matter if it’s allergies or a more serious issue.

 

Allergic Reactions and Dentistry

Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PAAllergic Reactions and Dentistry

Allergic reactions are sensitivities to a specific substance, called an allergen, which makes contact with the skin, or is inhaled into the lungs, swallowed, or injected. Some allergic reactions are mild, while others can be severe and life-threatening. Allergic reactions often occur more frequently in people with a family history of allergies. Substances that do not bother some people (including certain medications) can trigger allergic reactions in others.

  • What might cause an allergic reaction in the dental office?

  • What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

  • What should I do if I am allergic?

What might cause an allergic reaction in a dental office?

Allergic reactions that occur in the dental office may be caused by materials or medications. These allergens may include:

Latex – Latex can be found in many medical or dental supplies and devices, such as masks, gloves, and syringes. Unlike some consumer goods made from synthetic latex, natural rubber latex is derived from a milky substance found in rubber trees. Some individuals have developed hypersensitivity to proteins derived from natural rubber latex, which can cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to latex, we have latex-safe products for use during a dental procedure or surgery.

Local anesthetic – Local anesthetics are used to numb your mouth and gums when you undergo certain dental treatments. Although allergic reactions to local anesthetics are rare, they can occur. If you have had reactions to local anesthesia in the past, be sure to tell your dentist before you undergo any treatment. Dr. Griffin can find alternative ways to anesthetize you to prevent any adverse reactions.

 What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

A person who is allergic can experience a range of symptoms, including itchy, swollen eyes; a runny nose; and sneezing. Hives, dermatitis (skin rash), and asthma also are common reactions. The most severe allergic reaction is the potentially fatal condition known as anaphylactic shock, which is characterized by the following symptoms: generalized flushing of the skin; hives; mouth and throat swelling; difficulty in swallowing or speaking; changes in heart rate; abdominal pain; nausea and vomiting; anxiety; a sudden feeling of weakness (due to a drop in blood pressure); and unconsciousness.

What should I do if I am allergic?

If you have allergies, be sure to tell Dr. Griffin and his staff, and make sure that the information is included in your patient chart. If you have had severe allergic reactions, you should consider carrying an epinephrine kit (EpiPen®) and use a medic alert bracelet that clearly states your allergy. You also may want to carry a letter of explanation from your physician. If you have allergic symptoms following a dental procedure, consult your dentist and physician immediately. If you experience a severe allergic reaction after a dental procedure, you should go immediately to the hospital emergency department where you can be closely monitored and treated.

If you have allergies, be sure to tell Dr. Griffin and our dental team, and make sure that the information is included in your patient chart.

If you have questions about allergies and allergic reactions or any other dental issues, please feel free to give us a call here in Carrollton, TX at 972-242-2155.  Or, simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)