When allergy season hits, millions of Americans begin to suffer. Here in Georgia, we are well into allergy season, but the pollen is still everywhere. One step outside, and you can see the yellow dust covering cars, outdoor furniture, and decking. For those of us who are allergic to pollen, springtime is often most enjoyed from the comfort of inside your home.
The symptoms of seasonal allergies include nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. While all of these symptoms can make anyone feel miserable, more than just being uncomfortable, allergies can pose a severe risk to your oral health. The most specific way that allergies can damage your smile is by causing dry mouth. When severe nasal congestion makes it impossible for you to breathe through your mouth, you will resort to breathing through your mouth. Not only is mouth-breathing a bad habit, but it can result in a condition known as Xerostomia.
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a condition in which the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. While you may not give much thought to your saliva production, saliva is probably the most undervalued oral health component. Saliva helps keep the mouth moist and helps wash away food particles and oral bacteria. When the mouth is dry, bacteria adhere to the teeth and quickly harden into damaging dental tartar. Tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office with the use of special tools that can scrape the hardened material off of the dental enamel. If tartar is not removed from the teeth, it will cause tooth decay and gum disease – leaving your mouth with irreversible damage.
In order to combat dry mouth during allergy season, it is crucial that you drink more water. Most people do not drink the recommended eight 8-oz glasses of water on a typical day, let alone when they are suffering from dry mouth. By keeping up with your water intake, you can hydrate your entire body. If possible, limit the number of antihistamines you take as this medication will dry out your mouth as it dries out your sinuses.
Contact Engineered Smiles if you are suffering from dry mouth so we can help ensure that this condition does not pose a threat to your oral health.