Spring is in the air, which means pollen, pollen, and more pollen. And along with the blooming flowers and chirping birds, you have itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, non-stop sneezing, and a host of other seasonal allergy symptoms, including tooth pain. Wait, what? Tooth pain caused by allergies?
That’s right. Seasonal allergies can actually cause your teeth to hurt. It sounds crazy, but tooth pain is a very common symptom caused by allergies. In addition, those pesky allergies can also cause some other oral complications. Read on to learn more about the connection between allergies and tooth pain.
Congestion and Your Teeth
If you’ve been noticing tooth discomfort as the seasons change and you’re prone to allergies, you’re probably experiencing tooth pain due to seasonal allergies. The pain typically radiates in your back molars. The culprit? Sinus pressure.
Seasonal allergies, also referred to as hay fever, occur when irritants usually in the form of pollen cause your immune system to release a chemical called histamine as a line of defense. The histamine is responsible for all the uncomfortable symptoms, including sinus pressure.
Sinuses are the empty spaces in your skull that are connected to your nasal cavity. When your sinuses become inflamed, your entire face tends to feel the effect, including your teeth. This is because the roots of your upper molars are near or possibly even extend into the nasal cavity. As a result, when your sinuses are inflamed, they put pressure on the roots of your upper teeth, thus causing pain.
If the pain doesn’t go away once your allergy symptoms subside, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as it may not be allergy related.
Dry Mouth and Allergies
A dry and scratchy throat usually accompanies allergy-related congestion and sinus pressure. This is a result of not having enough fluid to moisten and soothe the mucosa of your throat. A lack of moisture doesn’t just cause a painful sore throat but can also wreak havoc in your mouth.
The culprit to dry mouth is often medication, as allergy medication can often slow down saliva production. Plus, if you’re congested, breathing through your mouth can quickly leave you with dry mouth.
It’s important to have saliva in your mouth to help protect your teeth from bacteria. It also helps to wash your mouth of any lingering food particles. However, when your mouth becomes dry, it can lead to many dental health problems, including gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.
If you have allergies and suffer from dry mouth, you should brush your teeth after each meal to effectively clean your mouth of food and bacteria. You should also drink water frequently and use a mouth rinse to help protect your teeth.
Get Relief Tooth Pain Caused By Allergies
Anytime you suffer from tooth pain, it’s a good idea to consult your dentist. Fortunately, if your tooth pain is caused by allergies, it won’t last forever. However, depending on the severity of your symptoms, it could feel like a lifetime. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to find a little bit of relief while you wait for those flowers to finish blooming.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods – Try adjusting your diet to include more foods that help to reduce inflammation, such as berries, broccoli, and fatty fish like salmon.
Drink more water – It’s essential to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help ease some of your allergy-related pain.
Open your nasal passages – You can try to relieve some of your nasal pressure by breathing in steam. For example, take a hot shower or boil water and inhale the steam. This helps reduce irritation and relieves some of the pressure being placed on the roots of your back teeth.
Stay indoors – If you suffer from allergies, try to limit your exposure to irritants and stay inside during high pollen days. Also, keep your windows closed so as not to let pollen and dander blow inside.
Protect Your Teeth During Allergy Season
Spring is a beautiful time of year, but it can cause much discomfort for many. If you suffer from allergies, it could be causing your tooth pain. But, again, it’s always best to schedule an appointment with your dentist, to be sure. You never want tooth pain to get out of control. What started as a minor dental issue could quickly become a major one.
One way to ensure your teeth are in good health is to be diligent about getting your routine cleanings. This allows your dentist to spot any possible dental problems before they happen. Prevention is the key to a beautiful and healthy smile.
Roughly one in every 20 Americans uses a vaping device, according to a 2018 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. With more than half of those users under the age of 35.
The good news is traditional cigarette use has declined over the past several years. But the bad news is that’s mostly because smokers have swapped their Marlboros and Newports for a vaping pen, also called an e-cigarette. Unfortunately, many believe that vaping is better for you than cigarettes. It’s not!
While vaping may technically be less harmful than smoking, it still isn’t safe – not for your heart and lungs, and especially not for your oral health. Vaping affects your oral health much the same way cigarette smoking does.
What Is Vaping?
Before we go into the effect vaping has on your teeth and oral health, let’s first discuss what vaping is and how it differs from regular cigarettes.
Vaping is an umbrella term that encompasses a whole realm of devices, including vape pens, tanks, mods, and electronic cigarettes. Instead of smoke, it uses aerosolized vapor that is created via a heating element that vaporizes liquid. The liquid, or vapor, is made up of nicotine and toxic chemicals.
Most vaping devices have a rechargeable base and use disposable cartridges that contain the liquid. The e-liquids tend to be flavored, which has only enhanced its appeal to the younger age groups.
Although there is no tobacco in e-cigarettes, the chemicals in vape pens still damage the body and mouth much the same way tobacco and smoke in cigarettes do.
Vaping and Oral Health
If you ever smoked, your dentist probably got onto you once or twice (or too many times to count) to quit. The stains cigarette smoking leaves on your teeth and the not-so-fresh breath it leaves behind is a dead giveaway that you’re a smoker, and not just to your dentist. Vaping may have eliminated those vanity issues, but it didn’t stop the serious damage to your overall oral health.
Nicotine leads to Gum Disease
Like cigarettes, vape pens and e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine doesn’t do your mouth any favors. When inhaled and introduced to your body, nicotine restricts blood flow to all areas of your body and mouth, including your gums. Your gums are living tissue that requires nutrients and oxygen to stay healthy and strong.
When blood and oxygen are restricted, your gum tissue begins to die, leading to gum disease. Gum disease, whether nicotine related or not, can contribute to a whole host of other serious diseases and issues, including:
Loss of teeth
Irritated, red, or bleeding gums
Chronic bad breath or halitosis
Swollen or tender gums
In addition to depleting your gum’s nutrients, nicotine also affects your mouth’s ability to fight off infections. This only increases your risk for gum disease.
Vape Chemicals Damage Tooth Enamel
One of the main ingredients in vaping liquid is propylene glycol (PG). PG is a colorless liquid that, when used orally, breaks down into acetic acid, lactic acid, and propionaldehyde. These are all acids that wreak havoc on your tooth enamel.
Enamel is the outer covering of your tooth. It’s the hardest tissue in the body, and it helps to protect the inner, more fragile areas of your teeth, known as dentin and pulp. When these acids cause the enamel on your teeth to break down, your teeth are left susceptible to damage and tooth decay.
Furthermore, the ingredient PG has been known to cause dry mouth, only accelerating tooth decay. Dry mouth leaves you unable to produce healthy saliva that contains compounds that help to protect your teeth and flush your mouth of harmful bacteria. Individuals often try to combat dry mouth by drinking liquids such as soda or other sugary drinks. Unfortunately, this only compounds the damage as the sugar in the drinks feed the bacteria and acid already in the mouth.
Vaping Is Not A Healthy Cigarette Alternative
No matter what people say, vaping is NOT good for you. There are many unknowns about vaping and its long-term effects. What we do know is that nicotine is toxic and highly addicting. In addition, vaping affects your oral health, and studies have found a link between e-cigarettes and asthma and chronic lung disease as well as cardiovascular disease.
If you have concerns about vaping and its side effects, schedule an appointment with your local dentist. If you smoke, traditional or e-cigarettes, make sure you’re having routine cleanings. Regular oral screenings can help detect early signs of tooth decay or other types of dental issues.
When you combine the oral health risks along with the overall health risks of vaping, it just isn’t worth it. So save your smile and your health, eliminate smoking from your life altogether.
Ancient Egyptian mummies were found to have suffered from cardiovascular disease. This means that over 3500 years ago, Egyptians were plagued with the same disease as the modern man, atherosclerotic heart disease.
The autopsies performed on the ancient Egyptians showed plaque adhering to their blood vessels. This is quite remarkable that the same disease has been affecting mankind throughout the ages.
The diet and lifestyle of the modern man are thought to be the blame of the world’s number one killer, heart disease. However, if heart disease affected the Ancient Egyptians, then other risk factors must be involved in atherosclerotic heart disease besides the Western diet and American lifestyle.
Atherosclerotic heart disease affects the blood vessels due to chronic inflammation. This inflammation is caused by fatty plaques entering the vessels, mixed with the dysfunction of the vasculature wall. This combination causes the narrowing of the arterial blood vessels.
When your blood vessels are narrowed, they aren’t able to function properly. The plaque build-up in the blood vessels is comprised of fat, cholesterol, calcium deposits, and other substances which cause the formations to adhere to the inner blood vessel lining.
Known risk factors for atherosclerosis and dysfunctioning blood vessels include high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain bacterial infections. Diet and lifestyle choices are strongly correlated to the aforementioned conditions.
Unfortunately, the typical Western diet is often comprised of red meat, processed foods, high-fat content foods, fried foods, sodas, high sugar content foods, and processed grains. It makes complete sense that a healthier diet and well-rounded active lifestyle can serve as prevention to many conditions that plague the modern man who adheres to the typical Western diet.
Inflammation Causing More Inflammation
The inflammation associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and other infectious diseases, keeps atherosclerosis in a vicious cycle.
The inflammation from the fatty plaque build-up causes further inflammation and dysfunction in the blood vessels which causes more narrowing; That means the atherosclerotic disease continues to worsen when the inflammation continues to be present.
HEART DISEASE AND YOUR TEETH
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The Garden Hose Analogy
Imagine your garden hose being clogged full of dry mud and caked debris within the inner lining of the hose. When the faucet is turned on, it would not flow at the proper speed. The flow of water would be decreased due to the build-up in the water hose.
This analogy can describe your arterial portion of the blood supply. When you have atherosclerotic plaque build-up, your blood cannot get to the organs, muscles, skin, bones, and the remainder of your body properly.
This leads to one portion of atherosclerotic disease. This type of atherosclerotic cardiovascular dysfunction that affects your arterial blood supply, your arteries, is called Peripheral Arterial Disease, PAD.
Imagine the garden hose is supplying the water to the rest of the garden, just like the arteries supply blood to the rest of your body. If the water is unable to reach parts of the garden, things begin to die. Much like the human body, when blood cannot properly reach the organs, ischemia can set in.
Also Known As…
Atherosclerotic disease can be confusing because it has many different names. Some of these names are medically coined to help describe the disease process. Whereas the other names have risen in popularity as Americans use these names to describe the symptoms.
There are many different types of cardiovascular diseases. You can see how some of these names became interchangeable as they describe the process of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerotic Arterial Occlusive Disease
Peripheral Arterial Disease, PAD
Peripheral Vascular Disease, PVD (this name can refer to vein disease or arterial disease)
Hardening of the Arteries
Coronary Heart Disease
Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease
Atherosclerosis is the most common form of cardiovascular disease. When you think of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attack, the atherosclerotic plaque build-up is the leading cause of these conditions.
Certainly, diet plays a huge role in the formation of plaques, but there are other components that need to be looked at with atherosclerotic heart disease. One component of heart disease that is just now coming into headlines for correlative studies is the connection between oral health and cardiovascular disease.
Recent studies have shown that individuals with poor oral hygiene have higher incidences of cardiovascular disease.
Oral Health Connection
Oral health is connected to your cardiovascular health as with other conditions such as oral cancer, preterm labor, pneumonia, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Poor oral hygiene is what seems to be related to cardiovascular disease. The more inflammation with gum disease and the more oral bacteria build-up, the higher likelihood you will see a connection to heart disease.
As one study showed, when you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, there is a lower risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, heart disease risk is tripled, for those who do not brush their teeth twice daily. As previously mentioned the inflammatory conditions of gingivitis are thought to be one of the main culprits.
Gingivitis and gum disease are preventable with daily habits of good oral hygiene. This means your daily oral hygiene habits can lower your risk of atherosclerotic heart disease.
The bacterial build-up from cavities and tooth decay is another factor involved in the link between cardiovascular disease and oral health. As mentioned above, the dysfunctioning of the arterial walls has a number of causes. Infectious microorganisms are one of the reasons arterial walls become dysfunctional.
The bacteria associated with dental decay can travel through the bloodstream causing inflammation of the blood vessels.
When you do not develop good oral hygiene habits, routines that favor poor oral health can easily fall into place. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, use fluoridated water or toothpaste, and if you are unable to brush your teeth, rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugar-free gum.
“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding” – Leonardo da Vinci
Just remember that the more you understand about your body and how to take care of it, the more power you have to be in control and live a healthier life. Knowing that oral hygiene is important not only for your mouth but for the rest of your body is an invaluable tool.
If you think of the above quote by the great Leonardo da Vinci in relation to the knowledge of your own health, then you can see the power and joy in the knowledge of your own healthcare. You are the best advocate for your health.
Now that you see the connection with your cardiovascular health and your oral health, make sure you keep oral hygiene a top priority. We have many oral health tips at VIPcare Dental.
Don’t Forget These Daily Oral Hygiene Tips
Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA approved soft-bristle toothbrush.
Make sure you brush for 2 minutes each time, to ensure you have reached all surfaces and your tongue.
Floss your teeth at least once a day.
Rinse your mouth out with water if you are unable to brush in the middle of the day.
Chewing sugarless gum can be beneficial if you are unable to brush for a while.
Wait 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth.
Change your toothbrush a few times a year, as there can be bacteria lurking in the hidden bristles.
Don’t forget to schedule your dental cleanings at least twice a year.
As with all medical conditions, make sure you talk to your dentist about any heart conditions you have may have. There are certain conditions that your dentist may want to give you a prophylactic dose of antibiotics prior to your dental cleanings. Making sure your oral health care provider is aware of all of your medical conditions, will help ensure you are taken care of in the safest way possible.
Your dentist is here to help you not only with your oral health but to help in any way they can as you strive to maintain or reach a healthy lifestyle.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions regarding your oral health or if you have any questions regarding the connection between heart disease and your oral hygiene.
We are here to help and available for any questions or concerns that you may have. Your oral hygiene is important. At VIPcare Dental, we are a comprehensive dental team. We would love to help, so contact us for an appointment.