All of us at West One Family Dental here in Colorado Springs are loving the spring temperatures we have had! Hopefully you and your family have enjoyed getting out more and enjoying the bursts of color popping up. Unfortunately, for some people, seasonal allergies can make spring a miserable season. If you’re sniffling, you’re probably too preoccupied to consider how your allergies are impacting your oral health. Here are some things to consider as your soldier through the onslaught of mucus.
Tooth Pain and Sensitivity
As your sinuses become more and more congested, it may cause some tooth pain. You may be surprised at the connection, but as pressure builds in your sinuses, they begin to push on the roots of your teeth. This pressure on the roots, where nerves are, can cause pain or sensitivity in your teeth.
One way to tell that your tooth pain is likely connected to your sinus pressure is to pay attention to if the pain changes as you change positions- sitting, standing, laying down. If your tooth pain is related to sinus congestion, which is caused by a build-up of fluid, as you move positions and the fluid moves your pain may change. If your pain stays fairly constant, you should consider other sources for the tooth pain. The best way to handle the pain is to try and get your allergies under control. Avoid known irritants. Also, consider talking with your medical doctor to discuss your long-term management options.
Coping mechanisms for seasonal allergies can lead to dry mouth. As you get more congested, you are more likely to breath out of your nose, which leads to faster evaporation of your saliva. Additionally, a common side effect of antihistamines, which reduce the congestion in your head, is dry mouth. We’ve touched on the importance of keeping your mouth from drying out in numerous blog posts, like in this one about blocked salivary glands. Saliva is essential to help keep bacteria from multiplying, keep food from hanging around, and in remineralizing your teeth.
As always, drink plenty of water. Furthermore, avoid taking unnecessary medications. As much as you can, make an effort to keep your nose clear and breath through your nose.
When you get congested, you often develop a postnasal drip in your throat. This can lead to bad breath issues that are unrelated to how clean you keep your teeth. Be careful how you treat this bad breath! If you don’t realize it’s not your teeth, you make brush too aggressively and cause damage your gums. Additionally, chewing lots of gum or mints isn’t great for your oral health either.
The best solution for bad breath that comes from postnasal drip is gargling with a warm saltwater solution. This will clear out some of the congestion, while also killing off bad breath bacteria. This same bacteria can also cause plaque and tartar buildup, which leads to cavities. It’s a great idea to keep up your regular oral hygiene routine as well, of course, but be gentle as you brush.
If you’re still concerned, or have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at West One Family Dental. We love to help you protect your teeth in every season!