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Springtime Toothaches | Allergies and Sinus Pressure in Iowa

By Jill Hamilton on April 28, 2015 in Dental Health


After surviving the polar vortex and one of the worst winters in Iowa, we are ready for the warmer months ahead. Unfortunately, seasonal allergies can stuff up your day. When the weather starts to warm, sneezes and wheezes become the norm. Toothaches are also common when allergies are in town. See how a toothache, allergies, and sinus pressure go hand-in-hand.

A woman with allergies and sinus pressure blows her nose dozens of times.

When the winters are icy-cold for months on end, plants freeze over, and so does pollen. In the spring, pollen thaws what’s left after winter. Plus grasses and weeds combined with the wind toss irritants for miles. Your body doesn’t like when you inhale these tiny particles of pollen and dust. It tries its best to keep the harmful stuff out and releases chemicals called “histamines.” This results in:

  • Runny nose,
  • Itchy eyes,
  • Sinus pressure,
  • And an overall increase in mucus production.

Springtime means environmental irritants are out in full force. The body’s response to an allergy is to absorb the outside irritant in mucus. This can cause you serious congestion and grief. A side effect of this is more pressure in your maxillary sinus area, located under your cheekbones. This also happens to be the same area of your back molars. So, when there’s pressure built up, tooth pain is almost inevitable.

The maxillary sinus is made up of a right sinus and a left sinus.

Image courtesy of sciencedirect.com

Don’t Ignore Allergies and Sinus Pressure

Some allergy sufferers link their mouth misery to tooth decay. But they forget that allergies and sinus pressure are related! Your dentist can always tell if it’s simply sinus pressure or something more.

If you have pain in your sinuses or a toothache, the worst thing to do is ignore it. Even though it’s “just allergies,” these problems can seriously impact your quality of life! Lean forward and press your fingers against your cheekbones. If your pain or toothache increases, it’s probably sinus-related.

If you struggle with allergies every year (or all year), create a seasonal game plan with your doctor. This may include antihistamines or nasal rinsing. To see what’s best for your allergy-inspired toothache, talk with your dentist and your doctor.

Clues your tooth pain is not from allergies and requires a dental visit:

  • You have a history of dental problems.
  • Your pain is confined to one specific tooth.
  • Tooth pain persists, even after allergy symptom and pressure has subsided.

Seasonal allergies affect everyone differently. Your dentist and doctor can give you the most accurate diagnoses for your specific problems. Don’t wait for the pain to disappear – spring into action! Visit your doctor and dentist for a smile fit for all seasons.

In the meantime, it’s recommended you eat these foods to help with allergy symptoms:

  • Onions
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple

To see the pollen count in your area, visit weather.com. Do you have asthma, a respiratory condition, or already know you’re prone to allergies?