Like it or not, allergy season is in full swing. When asked, “When is allergy season in Charleston?” the answer is: always. In South Carolina, allergy season lasts approximately ten months out of twelve. With our warmer climate, flowers and plants bloom and produce allergens for prolonged periods.
Allergies can be miserable for anyone who suffers from them. Congestion, postnasal drip, a sore throat, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes can make you want to hole up inside. Another common symptom of allergies is dry mouth. A dry mouth is more than just uncomfortable; it is also a threat to your oral health and should never be taken lightly.
When allergy symptoms cause you to have a stuffy nose, you will open your mouth to breathe. Mouth-breathing is a bad habit, but it often cannot be avoided during allergy season. Breathing in and out through the mouth can lead to a severe condition called Xerostomia, or dry mouth. This condition refers to the mouth being unable to produce enough saliva from the salivary glands to keep the mouth moist.
While you may not give much thought to it, saliva is an incredibly vital component of your oral health. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and comfortable, but more than that, it helps to wash away damaging bacteria from the teeth and gums. When the mouth is dry, bacteria will adhere to the teeth and cause inflammation to the gums. When bacteria-laden plaque hardens quickly in a dry mouth, it will turn into tartar. Tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office, and without removal, it will cause irreversible damage to your smile.
Symptoms of a dry mouth include:
- Frequent thirst
- A dry throat
- A sticky, dry feeling inside the mouth
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- A dry, raw tongue
Most allergy medications contain antihistamines to help dry up the excess mucus produced by the inflamed sinuses. Unfortunately, as these medications dry up the mucus, they also dry out your mouth. You will need to increase your daily water intake while your mouth is dry to help prevent adverse oral health problems.
If dry mouth is making you uncomfortable, contact Peninsula Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.