307 Grafton St #203, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

How Do Allergies Affect Oral Health?

As if a rash, runny nose, and ticklish throat weren’t uncomfortable enough, many patients who have allergies also experience oral symptoms. On top of discomfort, some of these concerns can actually have more severe consequences for teeth and gums. We’ve compiled some key points to consider if you suffer from allergies of any kind. By the way, this is the perfect time to mention—always tell your dentist or doctor if you have any kind of allergies, such as an allergy to latex, penicillin, or certain metals.

Oral Side Effects of Allergy Medications

Antihistamines are the most common type of medication used to relieve allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines alike list dry mouth near the top of the list, whether taken in the form of tablets, liquid, capsules, or even sprays. Dry mouth is of concern because it means your teeth and gums do not benefit from your saliva’s natural acid-neutralizing, cleansing, and hydrating properties. In turn, this increases your risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease, as well as bad breath. Many products are available over the counter to treat dry mouth, including specially formulated toothpaste, spray, and mouthwash. You might also try sugar-free gum or sugar-free lozenges to promote salivary flow.

Inhalers and Potential Oral Health Effects

Inhalers are also commonly prescribed to people with allergies. If you must use an inhaler, it is best to clean the mouthpiece after each use. Rinse your mouth with water afterward; otherwise, you may be more susceptible to thrush, an oral fungal infection. Symptoms of thrush include itching on the tongue and/or inner cheek, as well as white patches within the mouth. Like antihistamines, many inhalers have the potential to cause dry mouth. If you find yourself developing thrush several times, consider asking your prescribing physician whether you might benefit from the use of a spacer. Never change or discontinue medication without first consulting your doctor.

About Your Shrewsbury General Dentists

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-8838 today.