19 Apr Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Dry Mouth?
Seasonal allergies can be a nuisance for people of all ages. They can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. But did you know that seasonal allergies can also cause a condition called dry mouth? Below, we explore the link between seasonal allergies and dry mouth and discuss what you can do to find relief.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is a condition in which the salivary glands are unable to produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Dry mouth can cause several uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- A dry or sore throat
- Thick, stringy saliva
- A sticky or dry feeling in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent thirst
- Hoarse voice
- A dry, sore tongue
- Cracked lips
Without sufficient saliva to help wash away food particles, bacteria get to enjoy a feeding frenzy, making your mouth more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. Because bacteria are able to thrive in a dry mouth, this condition also increases the risk of mouth sores and infections.
A variety of factors can cause dry mouth, such as dehydration, certain medications, nerve damage, and medical conditions like diabetes. But seasonal allergies and the medications you take for them can also be a cause of dry mouth.
How Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Dry Mouth?
When you have an allergic reaction to pollen and other allergens, your body releases histamines. This reaction can cause inflammation in your nasal passages and sinuses, making it difficult to breathe through your nose. You may need to breathe through your mouth instead, which makes it very dry.
Some allergy medications can also cause dry mouth as a side effect. Antihistamines, which are commonly used to treat seasonal allergies, may lead to dry mouth because they can reduce saliva production.
How to Treat and Prevent Dry Mouth
If you’re suffering from dry mouth this allergy season, there are several steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms and prevent further dental problems. Here are a few things you can try:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and promote sufficient saliva flow.
- Get a humidifier to help prevent mouth breathing while you sleep.
- Gargle with warm salt water to help remove mucus from your sinuses and relieve allergy symptoms—mix 1 tsp of salt with 8 oz of warm water, gargle, then spit.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco, which can further dry out your mouth.
- Use sugar-free gum, candies, or lozenges to stimulate saliva production without putting your oral health more at risk.
- Practice good oral hygiene to protect your teeth, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and attending regular dental checkups.
Dental Cleanings in Sun Lakes, Arizona
Your teeth and gums are extremely vulnerable to plaque buildup when you suffer from dry mouth. Whether it’s caused by allergies or another factor, it’s essential that you keep up with your dental cleaning appointments to keep your mouth healthy.
At Saba and Romanin Dental Associates, we perform thorough, gentle teeth cleanings for adults in the Sun Lakes community. We can also recommend treatments to relieve your dry mouth symptoms. Give us a call at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/19/2023). Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels