We survived Ice-mageddon and the cold, wet, dreary weather that ensued. Now North Texans have at least a few weeks of warm, sunny weather to look forward to (before spring thunderstorms start wreaking their own particular brand of havoc). Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, evergreens like mountain cedar, cool season annuals like chickweed, and deciduous flowering trees like elm and pecan take advantage of warmer temperatures and produce copious amounts of pollen in the early spring and late winter. The result? Severe seasonal allergies that can actually lead to oral health problems like bruxism and dry mouth.
Allergies and Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, an unconscious behavior characterized by teeth grinding and clenched jaw muscles, most often affects adults dealing with stress, worry, and anxiety. However, children with seasonal allergies are particularly vulnerable to teeth grinding. Allergic rhinitis causes the tissues in the back of the throat to become inflamed and place pressure on the ear tubes, often obstructing them completely. Bruxing the teeth against each other in a side-to-side manner relieves pressure on the ear tubes. Your child’s nighttime teeth grinding can sound very loud and unsettling. Even worse, it can lead to childhood sleep apnea, headaches, and even bite problems later.
Dry Mouth Season Continues
Winter is a notoriously bad season for dry mouth: holiday foods and drinks and dry air blasting from heaters can dry out the mouth, leading to an increase of harmful oral bacteria and bad breath. This pattern continues into the late winter and early spring months when common allergy medicines, both over-the-counter and doctor prescribed, dry out the mouth and nose.
Reducing Allergy Related Oral Health Issues
Minimizing how much time you spend outdoors and the overall allergen count in your home (and thus reducing your direct contact with allergy-inducing pollens) and taking pills, nasal sprays, or injections that reduce allergy symptoms are your best bet for controlling springtime allergies. Maintaining a healthy mouth during allergy season depends on:
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- Following a regular dental hygiene routine consisting of brushing and flossing to control oral bacteria populations responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
About Mansfield Dental Associates:
At Mansfield Dental Associates, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris share the same vision and philosophy when it comes to patient care. We provide thorough, compassionate preventive dental services in addition to effective treatments for teeth grinding and TMJ pain. Contact our Mansfield, TX dentist office at 817-473-6227 to schedule your next appointment.