Do you often ask, “Why do allergies make your teeth hurt?” or “Can allergies make your teeth hurt?” You are not alone.
Many people experience oral pain during allergy season, ranging from mild annoyance to severe discomfort that affects their daily lives. The connection between allergies and dental pain is a common symptom that many overlook.
Let’s discuss this topic and understand how allergies can cause tooth pain.
The Connection Between Allergies and Tooth Pain
When it comes to allergies, most people think of symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. But can allergies cause your teeth to hurt? Allergies can cause oral pain, including tooth and jaw pain. This is due to the proximity of the maxillary sinuses to the upper teeth. When your body reacts to allergens, such as pollen from trees, it can cause inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses. This inflammation can pressure the root tips of your upper back teeth, causing tooth pain.
Here are common allergy symptoms:
- Hay Fever (also known as allergic rhinitis or environmental allergies): Symptoms may include sneezing, itching of the nose or eyes, or roof of the mouth; runny, stuffy nose; and watery, red, or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis).
- Food Allergies: Symptoms can include tingling in the mouth, swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat, hives, and anaphylaxis (a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention).
- Insect Sting Allergies: Symptoms can include a large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site, itching or hives all over the body, cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath, and anaphylaxis.
- Drug Allergies: Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including hives, itchy skin, rash, facial swelling, wheezing, and anaphylaxis.
- Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): This skin condition can cause itchy, red, flaking, or peeling skin.
- Allergic Asthma: Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, a whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling, and coughing or wheezing attacks worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.
How Allergies Affect Your Oral Health
Nasal Congestion and Tooth Pain
Nasal congestion is a common symptom of allergies. It occurs when the nasal passages become blocked with excess mucus. This can cause pressure to build up in the sinus cavities, leading to sinus pain. When this happens, the pain can radiate to your upper teeth, causing a sharp pain that feels like a toothache.
Dry Mouth and Tooth Decay
Another side effect of allergies is dry mouth. This can occur when you have a stuffy nose and resort to mouth breathing. A dry mouth creates an environment conducive for oral bacteria to thrive, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Postnasal Drip and Bad Breath
Postnasal drip is another issue that can arise from allergies. This occurs when excess mucus drips down the back of your throat, leading to a sore throat and bad breath. The discolored mucus can also trap food particles, leading to bacterial buildup and potentially causing dental issues.
Allergies often cause sinus congestion and pressure, hurting your teeth. This is because the roots of your upper teeth are located near your sinuses, and any pressure from sinus congestion can cause your teeth to ache.
Tooth and Gum Sensitivity
Can allergies make your front teeth hurt? Allergies can cause inflammation in the tooth roots, increasing sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. Moreover, allergies can result in swollen lips, mouth, or tongue and irritated gums.
Managing Allergy-Related Tooth Pain
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help maintain a moist environment in your mouth, reducing the risk of dry mouth and tooth decay. It can also help thin out mucus, relieving nasal congestion and postnasal drip.
- Use a Nasal Spray: Over-the-counter nasal sprays can help reduce inflammation in the nasal passageways, alleviating sinus congestion and tooth pain.
- Consult an Allergy Specialist: If your symptoms persist or worsen, it may be time to consult an allergy specialist. They can perform allergy testing and prescribe appropriate allergy medications or shots.
- Visit Your Dentist: Regular dental care is crucial in managing allergy-related dental discomfort. A qualified dentist can identify and treat any oral health issues that may arise from allergies, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
- Use Over-the-Counter Medications: Antihistamines can help manage your allergies, reducing sinus pressure and associated tooth pain. Decongestants may also be helpful in relieving sinus pressure.
- Use a Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to your face can help soothe some of the discomfort caused by sinus pressure.
- Nasal Rinses: Nasal rinses, such as saline solutions, can help clear your nasal passages and relieve sinus pressure.
- Use a Humidifier: A humidifier can help moisten your nasal and sinus passages, easing congestion and potentially reducing tooth pain.
Allergies can cause tooth pain. The inflammation and congestion accompanying allergic reactions can lead to oral health issues, including tooth and jaw pain. However, with proper management and regular dental check-ups, you can navigate through the high-pollen days of spring allergies without any dental discomfort.
Understanding the link between allergies and dental pain can take proactive steps to protect your oral health during allergy season. So, the next time you experience sore teeth during the allergy season, remember that it’s not just about the pollen count or exposure to pollen – your oral health matters, too.
If you’re experiencing tooth and jaw pain, contact us to schedule an appointment. Based on our diagnosis, we can evaluate your condition and recommend the most suitable treatment. We have a team of dentists in Edmonton with years of experience in the practice.