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Impact of Allergens on Oral Health


Posted on 9/25/2023 by Lemond Hunter
Impact of Allergens on Oral HealthAllergies can manifest in the mouth, triggering a range of oral health effects. Being aware of how allergies influence dental and gum tissues informs prevention and management. A holistic approach optimizes wellness.

Oral Allergy Syndrome


With oral allergy syndrome, certain fresh fruits or vegetables trigger mouth and throat itching, swelling, or tingling upon contact. The reaction stems from the similarity of proteins in the foods to environmental allergens like pollen. Cooking denatures the problematic proteins, preventing symptoms. While not dangerous, the reactions can be unpleasant. Identifying trigger foods allows avoidance or proper preparation methods to enjoy produce more comfortably.

Food Allergies Causing Canker Sores


Foods like wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish provoke immune responses in those with allergies. This can manifest as canker sores inside the mouth. The small ulcers are painful but not harmful.

When a specific food allergy is identified, avoiding that item prevents the recurrence of associated canker sores. For idiopathic ulcers, some find vitamin supplements help.

Environmental Allergies Exacerbating Dry Mouth


Seasonal pollen, dust, and pet dander allergies cause upper respiratory symptoms like congestion and sneezing. Many take antihistamines for relief. However, a side effect of many anti-allergy drugs is reduced saliva flow, leading to chronic dry mouth.

Sipping water, avoiding sugary drinks, using a humidifier, and practicing good oral hygiene counteract the drying effects. Alternative allergy drugs that do not impact salivary glands may also help.

Medications for Allergy Relief


Long-term use of certain allergy medications like antihistamines also increases the risk of dental decay. Reduced saliva increases bacterial growth, while sugary inactive ingredients feed cavity-causing microbes. To counteract caries risk, brush and floss thoroughly after taking medication. Your dentist may recommend prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste as well.

Conclusion


Being attentive to allergy symptoms and their potential impacts on oral health allows personalized management. Open dialogue with your doctor and dentist ensures appropriate treatment that minimizes side effects and promotes well-being systemically and orally. A holistic outlook serves you best.

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