As springtime rolls around, many people start to experience seasonal allergies, which can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, from sneezing and congestion to itchy eyes and throat. But did you know that allergies can also impact your patients' oral health? Here's what you need to know to keep your patients happy and healthy this allergy season.
One common symptom of seasonal allergies is sinus pressure and congestion, which can lead to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can lead to dry mouth, which can cause various oral health issues, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food particles in the mouth, so when there's not enough of it, these particles can accumulate and lead to plaque buildup and cavities. Mouth breathing can also contribute to foul breath due to the constant flow of bacteria into the mouth and the reduction of saliva, which kills off the harmful bacteria.
Another potential side effect of allergies is tooth pain. This can occur if sinus pressure from allergies causes inflammation or infection in the sinuses. Because of the close proximity of the sinuses and the nerves that connect to the teeth, sinusitis can be a significant contributing factor to tooth pain.
Oral Care Routine Disruption
Allergies can also impact your patients' oral care routines. If patients feel run-down and fatigued due to allergy symptoms, they may be less likely to stick to their regular brushing and flossing routine. It's important to reiterate to your patients that they must maintain good oral hygiene habits even when they're feeling under the weather.
Allergies can have a range of impacts on your patients’ oral health, from dry mouth and tooth pain to disruptions in their oral care routines. Now is the perfect time to educate your patients on potential issues that may go along with their seasonal allergies. Remind them that regular checkups and cleanings with you are vital to maintaining good oral health all year round, no matter what the season. Recommending products or lifestyle changes to assist with dry mouth and tooth sensitivity is also a good idea during this time of year. And last, if a patient's allergy symptoms are severe, consider referring the patient to an allergy specialist for further evaluation and treatment.