Dental Advice for the Sweet Tooth

Hey! I'm Frankie, and welcome to my dental advice blog. I'm a foodie and I love sweet treats, but I also love my teeth! It can be hard to keep your dental health in top condition when you've got a sweet tooth, but it's not impossible. Over the years, I've learned tons of great advice from friends, family members and dentists, and I'd love to share it with you. My blog is here to give you all the tips and tricks you need to stay free of decay and other tooth problems without giving up all your favourite foods and snacks.

Allergies and Tooth Decay: How Hay Fever Can Contribute to Tooth Decay

Dentist Blog

Hay fever affects around 10–20 percent of people worldwide. Also known as allergic rhinitis, every year in spring and summer, this condition causes irritating symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy and swollen eyes, and constant bouts of sneezing.   In an effort to continue on with their normal lives, sufferers tend to turn to medications like nasal sprays, decongestants, and oral medications, all of which contain antihistamines.

While these medications may relieve the symptoms of hay fever, if not taken correctly, they may just send you to your dentist.

Antihistamines Limit Saliva Production

Medications that contain antihistamines are designed to limit the mucus produced by allergic reactions. However, one significant side effect of antihistamines is that they also reduce saliva production. Since saliva is essential to preserving your tooth enamel, you could end up damaging your teeth.

Saliva serves several functions. After you eat, your mouth is filled with food debris. Saliva helps to protect against decay by washing this debris away from your teeth. A lack of saliva means an excess of food debris. The bacteria living on your teeth then feast on that food debris, producing enamel-eroding acid. Your saliva also washes away many of the bacterial organisms that cause tooth-decay. Little saliva then, means that bacteria can flourish in your mouth and speed up the erosion of your teeth.

In addition, your saliva contains calcium phosphate, which helps to keep your teeth strong and protects them against erosion.

As you can see, your saliva is more than just water.

Non-Seasonal Rhinitis is Even Worse for Teeth

Year round hay fever is even worse because this means you need to take antihistamines no matter what the season. You may also regularly breathe through your mouth. Breathing through your mouth dries your mouth out, and this is especially harmful if you sleep with your mouth open. Research shows that sleeping with your mouth open lowers the pH of your saliva, which in turn causes tooth decay due to the increased acidity of your saliva.

Keep Your Mouth Hydrated while Taking Antihistamines

Whether you suffer from hay fever in spring or year round, if you are taking antihistamines, remember to stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of mineral water with you at work, school, or college so you can ensure that your body is producing enough saliva to protect your teeth from erosion.

If you take antihistamines regularly and haven't had a dental check-up in a while, schedule an appointment with your dentist to make sure your teeth haven't suffered any ill-effects. 


19 June 2017