Allergy season is in full swing right now. Spring is a beautiful season of regrowth and life, and it invites us all outdoors to enjoy its beauty. However, for allergy sufferers, spring is often best enjoyed from inside.
The most common and most miserable symptoms of allergy season include a stuffy nose, postnasal drip, a sore throat, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. All of these symptoms can make you feel miserable – often worse than having the flu because allergy season can last for weeks on end. One specific way that allergies can cause even more misery is when you experience a dry mouth. When you cannot breathe through your nose, you are left breathing through your mouth. Mouth-breathing is a terrible habit, yet it often cannot be avoided during allergy season. Dry mouth refers to a condition in which the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. This dryness can lead to severe oral health complications.
Saliva is probably the most underappreciated component of your oral health. You have probably not given much thought to how good a moist mouth feels until you experience dry mouth. Besides causing discomfort, dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth infections. Saliva is necessary because as it keeps the mouth hydrated, it also washes away bacteria inside the mouth. When the mouth is dry, bacteria will cling to the teeth and harden into damaging plaque.
Symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Frequent thirst
- A sticky, dry feeling inside the mouth
- A dry throat
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- A dry, raw tongue
- Split skin at the corners of the mouth; cracked lips
The most prescribed allergy medicines, both by prescription and over the counter, contain antihistamines to help dry up excess mucus in the sinus passageways. As the medications work, they unfortunately also dry out the mouth. It is imperative that you drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water every day to stay well hydrated.
Contact Smile Structure if you are suffering from dry mouth so we can protect your smile.
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