It is spring yet again and we all know what that entails. This is the season where allergens are everywhere! Though seasonal allergies tend to not be life-threatening, unlike food and drug allergies, they can get rather annoying. So what do we tend to do when our seasonal allergies begin to affect our daily routine? We take antihistamines. Some of us really “sneezers” plagued by frequent allergy attacks may even take our Claritin or Zyrtec on a daily basis.
Because taking allergy medication is such a common practice, we tend to forget that those little white or pink pills are just that: a medication. Every medication has its side effects on the body and we need to take those into consideration. Sure some may have the common drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, and headaches, but one really common side effect that we tend to look over is a dry mouth.
Dry mouth, or Xerostomia, is very common with medications but usually is not taken seriously. The fact of the matter is that our mouths are full of bacteria. To be honest, they are the most bacteria-ridden places in our bodies. Besides washing away food, saliva helps to ward off some of these bacteria by neutralizing the acids the bacteria create in our mouths. When our mouths stop producing saliva, the bacteria has the opportunity to grow and cause more problems. This not only causes bad breath, but it is also important because, as stated in our previous blog, but your oral health can also be a major influence on your heart health and overall health.
So how can we avoid it? Well, unfortunately, you cannot avoid the dry mouth caused by your allergy medication unless you stop taking it and for some of us, that’s not an option. There are, however, some extra oral care practices you can take to make sure that the dry mouth you experience doesn’t cause you any other health issues. Just taking extra care of your mouth can save you from all the harmful symptoms of a dry mouth. Here are some quick tips to help guide you:
- brush more often
- drink lots of water
- use mouth wash when you feel like your breath is starting to smell bad
- chew dentist recommended gum to encourage the production of saliva
- do not smoke