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  • Writer's pictureUlrich Orthodontics

How Seasonal Allergies Affect Oral Health

Flowers and trees are blooming, the sun is shining and spring is finally upon us! But with all this new growth comes seasonal allergies for so many! While allergies may make us feel crummy at times, they can also affect our oral health in some pretty rotten ways.

  1. Allergies can cause swelling of the gums and tonsils. When gums are swollen, we aren't able to brush around them sufficiently which can lead to plaque build-up, bad breath, etc.

  2. Allergies can cause tooth sensitivity and pain due to sinus pressure. This can make eating and drinking challenging with hot and cold items, and making brushing properly uncomfortable.

  3. Due to nasal congestion caused by allergies, it's easier for many to breathe through their mouths. But mouth-breathing can cause dry mouth. Because the mouth is too dry to produce saliva, plaque cannot be rinsed away and bacteria multiplies. This can lead to bad breath. A nasal spray can help clear up sinus passages and allow for easier nasal breathing.

  4. Seasonal allergies can also cause a sore throat due to post-nasal drip, which can cause some wicked breath. Unfortunately brushing and flossing won't help with bad breath from this cause, as the odor is coming from the back of the throat. Gargling with salt water can provide some pain relief, and help cut bacteria production and eliminate lurking odors.

Although seasonal allergies may be unavoidable, there are ways we can help protect our oral health this time of year. Talk with your healthcare provider about the right antihistamine for you. Once you have that dialed in, be sure to stay hydrated to help keep saliva production optimal, and keep up with your brushing and flossing practices. If you have any questions regarding oral hygiene during allergy season, please don't hesitate to reach out to our office at 530-885-8331.

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