Can Allergies Cause Dry Mouth?
When allergy season is in full swing, it can affect many aspects of your life including your oral health. Unfortunately, allergies can typically cause dry mouth which can lead to poor oral health. Allergies tend to cause an increased production of mucus, running eyes, and lots of sneezing. When this happens, those who suffer from allergies are more likely to breathe through their mouth, rather than their nose. Constant mouth breathing will cause dry mouth. Additionally, many of the antihistamines on the market cause dehydration and dry mouth as side effects. If prolonged, dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. However, there are certain steps you can take to decrease your likelihood of dry mouth during allergy season.
Most Common Allergies & Dry Mouth
The most common seasonal allergy is allergic rhinitis or hay fever. The primary culprits of hay fever include pollen, grass, flowering plants, trees, and mold. If you are allergic to one of these allergens, you may experience a runny or stuffy nose, sore or itchy throat, headache, watery eyes, sneezing, fluid in your ears, cough, and trouble breathing or wheezing. Ultimately, all of these symptoms by themselves or in combination will normally block the passage of air through your nose and force you to breathe through your mouth, this is why you will experience dry mouth.
How to Prevent Dry Mouth
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take at home to prevent dry mouth and further damage to your oral health. Try the following recommendations during allergy season to keep dry mouth at bay:
- Drink Water: With dry mouth, it’s crucial to continually drink water throughout the day. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to stay hydrated and to keep your mouth moist. Not only will this help with your dry mouth, it can also help to rid your body of excess mucus.
- Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene Routine: You should brush twice per day, floss daily, and rinse with a dry mouth mouthwash to decrease the buildup of plaque and bacteria.
- Understand Your Allergies: Learn what you are allergic to and discuss treatment options with your doctor. This may mean a long-term prescription medication to keep your allergies under control.
- Visit Your Dentist: It’s important to visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy and cavity-free. Additionally, you can discuss potential options for your dry mouth with your dentist.
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