It’s definitely that time of year again!
Pollen rates are on the rise and hay fever sufferers have been noticing. Around 13 million Brits are affected by hay fever every year. But while the streaming eyes and sinus pain are to be expected, there are some slightly less-known symptoms of hay fever that you may be experiencing right now – it’s what your pollen allergy may be doing to your mouth. Our dentist in Milton Keynes, Dr Teresa has some top tips for hay fever sufferers.
Why Your Mouth Hurts
Hay fever can cause a lot of issues for you, whether it’s because you can’t leave your desk without a tissue, you have a constantly scratchy throat, or you just can’t stop sneezing. But there are a few things you might be experiencing that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with hay fever.
Tooth Pain: Sinus pain is a common symptom of your body fighting off pollen allergies. When your immune system senses pollen, the hollow spaces in your head fill up with mucus, which causes aches and pains in your face. Some of these sinuses are just above your upper jaw, so you may experience some radiating pain from your clogged sinuses.
Dry Mouth: You might also have noticed that your mouth is a little drier than usual. This can happen for two reasons. The first is that with your nose blocked up, you’re more likely to be breathing through your mouth, which dries it out. The second is that dry mouth is a common side-effect of antihistamines. Dry mouth can be uncomfortable in itself, but it can also increase your chances of developing cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
Sore Throat: Irritated and sore throats are common for hay fever sufferers, but if you don’t normally get it, then it may be as a result of a postnasal drip (when the mucus runs down the back of your throat). This type of sore throat can cause bad breath that no amount of tooth-brushing will get rid of – since it’s coming from your throat, not your mouth.
So, how do you fight back against hay fever-related mouth problems, aside from never opening your mouth again during hay fever season?
Well, there are a few things you can try, as recommended by our award-winning MK dentist, Dr Teresa:
Create Fake Saliva: Don’t worry, this isn’t as gross as it sounds. Hay fever can dry your mouth out, and this can cause a lot of problems for you beyond being uncomfortable. So while you’re not generating enough saliva, you need to create some. Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth hydrated, and chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
Gargle With Salt And Water: Dissolve a tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water, then gargle and spit until the water is gone. The salt can help draw all of the mucus out of your sinuses and cut down on the harmful bacteria in your mouth and throat. This will stop you having bad breath and will relieve a lot of your symptoms as well.
Keep Brushing And Flossing: When we feel horrible it can be tempting to just fall straight into bed without brushing or flossing – but when it comes to hay fever that’s the worst thing you can do. Regular brushing and flossing will keep that bad breath at bay and keep your mouth healthy. Make sure you’re also washing your face regularly to get rid of any pollen that’s attached to your skin during the day.
Take Antihistamines: Controlling your allergies will go a long way to preventing your mouth from hurting during the day. Make sure you’re regularly taking your antihistamines, avoid your known triggers and if you’re really suffering, speak to your doctor about more long-term options.
See Your Dentist: If you’re experiencing tooth pain during this time of the year, it’s always worth taking a trip to see your dentist. They will be able to tell you if your pain is allergy-related, or if there are any underlying conditions that could be causing it.
At Appledore, we know just how difficult dealing with allergies can be. Many of us suffer from hay fever ourselves, and we understand the struggles that hay fever brings. That’s why we want to help you relieve your own symptoms as much as possible, and we’re always happy to give advice or information about dealing with hay fever this summer. If you would like to find out more, or book your appointment to see a dentist about your hay fever, just get in touch with the team today.