If you get a stuffy nose when the pollen count is high, every time you’re around a cat, or have an even worse reaction to certain foods, it’s likely you’re suffering from an allergic reaction. The typical symptoms of allergies include itchy eyes, a stuffed up nose, or difficulty breathing. But did you know that allergies can also affect dental health? Our dental office in Alexandria takes a closer look in this week’s blog…
We already know that it’s common for people with allergies to suffer from itchy, watery eyes and leaky, stuffy noses. These symptoms are a result of the body making too much mucus. And too much of this thick, slimy stuff can block up airways, making it difficult to breathe out of the nose. As a natural response, the body switches to breathing out of the mouth, also known appropriately as mouth breathing. That’s where the problems begin.
Mouth breathing, at first, may not appear as such a big deal, but to your dentist in Alexandria it’s a habit that can lead to several oral health problems. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry reports that mouth breathing can lead to a gummy smile, problems with facial development in kids, and even complications to overall oral health.
Breathing out of your mouth decreases saliva production and dries it out. Without saliva, dangerous acids and bacteria are left to create problems like tooth decay and chronic bad breath. Dry mouth is also one of the causes of gum disease, a dangerous oral health problem that can create health issues throughout your body including stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.
If you’re a mouth breather, you may not even know it. That makes it important to recognize the common signs and symptoms so you can seek treatment before any serious issues develop. Some common signs and symptoms of being a mouth breather include:
If you have allergies that affect your ability to breathe properly there are things you can do to help relieve the symptoms and protect your oral overall health. Start by speaking with your doctor and the team at our Alexandria dental office. As part of your healthcare team, we will be happy to recommend some ways to get allergy relief so you can start breathing easier.
We’re always welcoming new patients from Alexandria, Old Town, Del Ray, and surrounding communities.