From grass pollen to mold, many different allergens can cast a shadow over an otherwise sunny summer. While allergies can affect every person differently, it’s common to experience dry mouth. Apart from being uncomfortable, dry mouth can also harm your dental health and natural teeth cleaning abilities. If you want to protect your smile this summer, here’s what you should know about allergy-related dry mouth and how you can prevent problems.
Why Do Allergies Cause Dry Mouth?
When the body is exposed to certain allergens, the immune system can overreact, causing inflammation and congestion within the sinus cavity. If a stuffy nose forces you to breathe through your mouth, you’ll expose the area to more air, and in turn, dry it out. At the same time, taking antihistamines to relieve allergy symptoms can also contribute to dry mouth.
How Can Dry Mouth Harm Dental Health?
Saliva plays a critical role in teeth cleaning. Specifically, this substance washes away plaque and food debris, and it neutralizes harmful acids. Without saliva, the acids produced by oral bacteria will have an easier time wearing away at tooth enamel, increasing your risk of cavities. Chronic dry mouth can also contribute to bad breath, gum disease, canker sores, and oral infections.
How Can You Alleviate Dry Mouth?
If you suffer from allergy-related dry mouth, discuss your treatment options with a doctor. Certain prescription medications, as well as allergy shots, can help alleviate your symptoms without contributing to dryness.
Drinking water will keep you hydrated, providing your body with the fluids it needs to produce more saliva. In addition, chewing on specific types of foods—such as apples, cheese, celery, carrots, and sugar-free gum—will help stimulate your salivary glands.
Since dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, make your oral hygiene a priority. Brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time, flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash will remove plaque. If you haven’t been to the dentist in six months, make an appointment for a full exam and teeth cleaning. During this check-up, your provider can catch and treat minor issues—such as small cavities—before they turn into more serious problems.
Safeguarding your smile is a stress-free experience when you’re a patient of Waterford Dental Health. Providing preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services for clients of all ages, these dentists can help address many issues related to dry mouth, including tooth decay and gum disease. Whether you need teeth cleaning or tooth fillings, this team is focused on making your treatment as easy as possible. In fact, they offer sedation dentistry services to help you feel at ease. To learn more about these services, visit this New London County, CT, dental clinic online. For appointments, call (860) 447-2235.