The effect of allergies on oral health
“You wanted me to tell you the secret of spring,” Federico García Lorca began his poem “Idyll”, using this season as a stage to talk about love.
Its secret, for allergy sufferers, has little to do with romanticism. It is a time when sneezing, runny nose, peeling nose, watery eyes and dry mouth are common.
Although the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) has foreseen that this year spring would be very mild for those allergic to pollen in the Canary Islands, with maximum values of up to 500 grains per cubic metre of air, the nose of infinity of allergic is that’s hot. And if this discomfort was not enough, we must add the effects that spring allergies have on oral health.
The Artedental clinic, in Puerto de la Cruz, explains the most common conditions related to spring allergies. When suffering from conges-tion, it is more common to breathe through the mouth, and therefore it dries out. The lack of saliva directly affects the cleaning of food remains and plaque in the teeth, and therefore the mouth becomes the perfect setting for bacteria to multiply, favoring infections. Antihistamines that are ingested to mitigate the effects of allergies also cause a dry mouth and increase the appearance of tooth decay, bad breath and gingivitis.
The high mucus causes irritation in the throat, and this, bad breath and increased plaque.
The maxillary sinuses, the cavities located on the maxilla, are covered with mucous membranes. With allergies, they fill with mucus, pressing on the roots and nerves and causing pain and sensitivity to temperature changes in the teeth.
Artedental, whose staff confirm an increase in visits due to these discomforts during the spring months, give several tips to practice from home as a prevention or if these symptoms are detected, although in this second case, they warn of that the best option is to visit the dentist:
Brushing and dental floss. It is essential to fight a dry mouth, trying not to reduce brushing from the recommend-ed twice a day, and one in the case of flossing.
Hydration of the mouth Another essential measure to mitigate the effects of dry mouth is to keep it hydrated, with the abundant intake of water. And to sweep up the excess mucus accumulated in the maxillary sinuses, salt is a good option. Therefore, gargling water with salt is highly recommended.
If both the allergy and the oral ailments continue or increase, visiting the doctor and the dentist is the most advisable. The doctor will know if the allergies are having an impact on the mouth, and the dentist will know how to find a solution.
In Artedental they know perfectly well that good oral health is essential for physical well-being, even emotional, and not maintaining it can lead to much more serious problems than cavities or infections, such as mouth cancer, tooth loss or cardio-vascular diseases. Visiting the dentist regularly should be very present in everyone’s mind, they insist.