Can Allergies Harm Your Kid’s Teeth? - The Medford Center

82 Forest Street
Medford, MA 02155

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Can Allergies Harm Your Kid’s Teeth? 

added on: May 13, 2021
The Medford Center For Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry

From brushing habits to sugar intake and how often you visit your pediatric dentist in Medford, there are a lot of things that can affect your kid’s oral health. But can allergies actually be one of those things that can harm your kid’s teeth and increase his risk for cavities? 

Itchy, Stuffy, and Drippy

Most of us are well aware of the unpleasant symptoms of an allergy flare-up. The itchy, watery eyes, the never-ending nasal drip, and the sinus stuffiness are all common side effects of allergies. While allergies can certainly be annoying, they can also affect your child more than you may think. When your body comes in contact with an allergen, it responds by producing more mucus than normal. This mucus is gross, thick, slimy stuff that blocks airways and sinuses and makes it hard or impossible to breathe out of the nose. Instead, our bodies automatically adapt to breathe from the mouth. This mouth breathing is what’s concerning to your pediatric dentist in Medford. 

Why Mouth Breathing is Concerning 

Mouth breathing is a bigger problem than it may initially appear. In fact, a study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry reported that mouth breathing can affect oral health in a variety of ways. When kids breathe out of their mouths too much, it can actually affect tooth development. In fact, chronic mouth breathing can cause a gummy smile, problems with facial development, and overall oral health issues thanks to dry mouth.

Dry Mouth & Oral Health

Dry mouth is an incredibly common complaint in many dental patients, and while it’s certainly uncomfortable, it’s also dangerous. Dry mouth essentially means that saliva production has decreased. And this is a problem. Saliva is responsible for rinsing away bacteria and neutralizing acids in the mouth that attack tooth enamel and lead to decay. Without saliva, teeth are constantly exposed to these acids and bacteria. But that’s not all. Dry mouth can also cause chronic bad breath and is one of the causes of gum disease. 

The Problem with Allergy Medicine

To get relief from allergy symptoms, we usually turn to our trusted antihistamine. However, while this medicine may indeed ease itchy eyes or decongest sinuses, it may also make dry mouth worse. To help protect your child’s oral health while still giving him relief from allergies, have him: 

  • Chew sugar-free gum (if he’s old enough)
  • Use a lubricating mouthwash
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Sleep with a humidifier in his bedroom

Never stop any medication recommended by your doctor without talking about it first. 

If you’re concerned that your child’s allergies or allergy medication are causing dry mouth and putting his oral health at risk, we encourage you to call your Medford pediatric dentist to schedule an appointment.