Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis & Oral Health

With the changing seasons and the arrival of spring comes the dreaded seasonal allergic rhinitis – better known as hay fever. We’re all familiar with the sneezing, runny noses, congestion, and itchy eyes that come with it, but did you know it can affect your teeth, too?

Having a blocked nose turns us into “mouth breathers”, which can lead to dry mouth. In other words, not having enough saliva to wash away all the food and plaque. This can give rise to bad breath, cavities, and even gingivitis. In children, mouth breathing because of a chronically blocked nose can lead to changes in their jaw development. This could cause overcrowding or crooked teeth.

Sometimes, the pressure from blocked sinuses can even cause pain in the teeth or gums because of their proximity. It can also cause temperature sensitivity, though there’s nothing wrong with the teeth themselves. Fortunately, once you clear up your sinuses, the pain should also subside, or disappear.

Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms & Effective Treatment

The best way to treat your allergic rhinitis symptoms is to determine what you’re allergic to and avoid it as far as possible. When it comes to hay fever season, though, it can be hard to avoid with all the pollen in the air. That’s when your over-the-counter allergy symptom relief comes in handy. Your local pharmacist should be able to point you in the right direction in terms of allergic rhinitis medication options, depending on your symptoms. Antihistamines are often recommended for fast and effective relief, but it is best to consult a medical professional before taking any medication, particularly if your symptoms are more severe.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis

If your hay fever affects your sinuses very badly, you might find extra relief by doing a daily sinus wash. Whether you use a neti pot or a modern sinus wash bottle, adding this to your nightly routine can help keep your sinuses clear until the season changes and your hay fever subsides.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene During Allergy Season

Knowing that your hay fever can affect your oral health, keeping up your oral hygiene routine during the change of season is critical. Brushing and flossing are your most powerful tools for maintaining a happy, healthy mouth. In addition to keeping up a good routine, however, there are a few extra things that you can do to help prevent dental problems.

Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis & Oral Health

The first tip is to drink lots of water. As the weather gets warmer, this is a good idea for a lot of reasons, but it can also help you keep your mouth moist. This will help you tackle the dry mouth from hay fever congestion. On the same tack, gargling with salt water is known to help with sore throats and gum infections. It does this by washing away harmful bacteria and drawing mucus down from your sinuses. If you have any food allergy triggers or even intolerances, be extra careful to stay away from them to avoid a flare-up.

If you are susceptible to bad hay fever, it might be a good idea to chat with a medical professional about some preventative measures that you can keep on hand. These can help calm your body’s reaction to all the allergens in the air, easing your hay fever symptoms as well as protecting your oral health.

Oral Health Products for Allergy-Related Sensitivities

Hay fever season can be a trigger for other allergies, too. They can be found everywhere, even in some dental products. Fortunately, there’s one more tool in your allergy arsenal. Oral health science has developed hypoallergenic toothpaste, mouthwashes, and other oral healthcare products. They can help you keep your mouth happy and healthy even when the allergies strike.

Hypoallergenic toothpaste uses ingredients like xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that has become very popular in recent years. It doesn’t ferment in the way sugar does, so it doesn’t cause tooth decay. Many dentists even recommend xylitol chewing gum to their patients because it helps remove some of the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Dental products aren’t regulated in the same way as food or medicine. So, ask your dentist to recommend a hypoallergenic toothpaste or mouthwash that’ll work for you. Hypoallergenic dental products sometimes come in slightly unusual forms, so it’s best to get some advice on the best way to use them.

Allergic Rhinitis & Your Dentist: Seeking Expert Advice

If you think your allergic rhinitis might be affecting your oral health, your first port of call should be your dentist. We can give you our expert opinion and help rule out any other causes of tooth or gum discomfort. Once we’re sure that hay fever symptoms are the root of your problems, we can work with your doctor to help you get through a change of season with ease.

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Need a new dental opinion? Get in touch with us to book an appointment with the Enamel Clinic’s experienced dental team.

Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis & Oral Health