Allergy or Toothache?

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Sinus Pressure Can Cause Tooth Pain

Though we all may be staying indoors a bit more during these days of social distancing and restricted travel, there’s no doubt that pollen is in the air.

Allergy Season is Here

Allergy season generally starts in February and runs through early summer as first trees, then grass, then ragweed sprout, bud, and release their powdery pollen into the environment.

The intensity of the spring allergy season can be determined by winter. A mild winter paired with a wet spring will get plants and greenery revving sooner, bringing on high pollen counts earlier than usual.

Those whose immune systems try to fight off these allergens with antibodies wind up waging the seasonal battle against itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing, a general feeling of malaise, and swollen sinuses.

And what precisely, does allergy season have to do with oral health? Well, you might be surprised.

How Allergy Season Affects Oral Health

In addition to that maddening itch in your throat and on the roof of your mouth, seasonal allergies can afflict sufferers with dry mouth, which though certainly not a serious condition, can cause problems.

Saliva moves food particles out of your mouth to keep food and gums clean. Significant bouts of dry mouth can increase the potential for cavities and gum disease. To counteract the condition, drink plenty of water, keep a glassful on your nightstand, and continue to brush and floss regularly. You might also consider keeping some sugar-free gum handy as a saliva stimulant.

Another allergy-dental connection is tooth pain. 

When sinuses become inflamed – especially the large maxillary sinuses situated above the top molars – pressure can build that causes tooth pain while chewing. That can cause some confusion as to whether the pain is caused by sinus pressure or a legitimate dental problem.

It can be hard to know the difference. Unless you see black or white stains on your teeth, feel a hole, or experience pain while eating sweet, hot, or cold foods, it’s best to let your dentist have a look.

Making the Best of Allergy Season

Though seasonal allergy reactions wax and wane, with some years being better or worse than others, there are some general guidelines to follow:

• Monitor weather reports for pollen counts and warnings

• When pollen counts are high, close doors and windows

• Stay indoors on dry, windy days

• Avoid outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are high

• Shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes after working outside

We continue to offer only emergency dental services at this time but look forward to actively seeing our patients again once the current situation is over. However, if you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call us at (765) 643-5356 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Molly.

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