Allergies can be a year-long problem, but spring and summer can be a crucial time for runny noses, itchy eyes, and all the other symptoms that allergy sufferers know all too well. You may not realize that some of the medications you take to treat your allergies can also cause dental complications.
If you take allergy medications, watch out for these issues:
Antihistamines can also cause your teeth to develop stains. These stains happen inside the tooth and change the way light is reflected off of the enamel and dentin, a hard bony layer beneath the enamel.
Dry mouth caused by antihistamines can also make you more vulnerable to stained teeth. If you don’t have enough saliva, foods and drinks can more easily remain on your teeth for longer periods of time and cause stains. Please ask us about our safe and effective KöR Deep Bleaching system, if you would like to get rid of your stained teeth.
Antihistamines are some of the most popular medications prescribed to treat allergies. They block histamine–a chemical that’s released by your immune system and help make you less likely to sneeze or have an itchy nose and eyes.
Unfortunately, antihistamines can also make your mouth dry, which can harm your teeth and gums. That’s because saliva performs an important function in your mouth–it helps rinse away acids and bacteria. A dry mouth enables these harmful substances to remain in your mouth and on your teeth. This could lead to cavities as well as gum disease and infection.
In addition, some liquid antihistamines and cough syrups contain alcohol, which can further dry your mouth.
Liquid medications like antihistamines and cough syrup often contain sugar, which, if allowed to remain in your mouth, can provide food for cavity-causing bacteria.
The effect is even worse if you take your liquid medicine as many people do, after brushing your teeth or right before bed.
What to Do
Depending on the severity of your allergies, you may need to continue taking your medicine but take some precautionary measures, including the following:
- Avoid taking liquid medication if you can substitute a pill form instead.
- If you do take liquid medication, brush your teeth afterward if at all possible. If not, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum to help produce more saliva.
- If you experience dry mouth, try using sugar-free gum or lozenges to help produce more saliva. You can also use artificial saliva, a spray or liquid that’s available without a prescription.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth, stains, or other issues related to allergy medications, we can help treat the problem before it becomes worse. Contact us at My Family Dentistry for regular dental checkups and treatment!