How can hay fever treatment affect oral health?

Written by: Dr Sulaman Anwar
Published: | Updated: 11/12/2023
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In one of our latest medical articles here below, distinguished periodontist, Dr Sulaman Anwar, explains how hay fever treatment can adversely affect oral health as well as our smile.

What is hay fever?

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, dust mites, animal dander, or other substances.


Common symptoms of hay fever include:

  • a runny nose; 
  • itchy eyes, and;
  • sneezing.


While there are several treatments available for hay fever, including antihistamines and nasal sprays, it is important to be mindful that these medications can have side effects that affect people’s smiles and overall oral health. 



How can hay fever treatment affect oral health?

Antihistamines are a common medication used to treat hay fever. They work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released by the body in response to allergens. However, antihistamines can cause a dry mouth and throat, which can lead to bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. In addition, some antihistamines can cause drowsiness and fatigue, which can make it difficult to smile or express emotions.


Nasal sprays are another common treatment for hay fever. They work by reducing inflammation in the nasal passages and relieving congestion. However, some nasal sprays can cause nosebleeds and irritation in the nose and throat. This can make it difficult to smile or speak comfortably.


In rare cases, hay fever medications can cause more serious side effects that affect people’s smiles. For example, corticosteroid nasal sprays can cause oral thrush, a fungal infection that can lead to white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth. This can make it difficult to eat or drink comfortably and may cause embarrassment when smiling or speaking.


If you are experiencing side effects from your hay fever medication that are affecting your smile or oral health, it is important to speak with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend alternative treatments or adjust your dosage to minimise side effects. In addition, practicing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily can help prevent dental problems associated with dry mouth and other side effects of hay fever medication.




To schedule in an appointment with Dr Anwar today, visit his Top Doctors profile.

By Dr Sulaman Anwar

Dr Sulaman Anwar is a highly qualified, skilled and trusted specialist periodontist based in London. He carries out a range of surgical and non-surgical periodontal treatments, including Waterlase laser gum treatment, Chao Pinhole® surgical technique, crown lengthening, regenerative procedures, implant therapy, and treatment for gingivitis.

Dr Anwar is the director and principal dentist of the renowned dental practice, Serio Dental, a centre for excellence in oral health that offers state-of-the-art dental treatments, oral surgery, dental hygiene services, and facial aesthetic treatments.

He has been awarded multiple degrees and qualifications in the field of dentistry. Dr Anwar has a BDS from King’s College London, as well as a Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons and a Diploma in Conscious Sedation for Dentistry. In 2018, Dr Anwar was awarded a Master of Clinical Dentistry in Periodontology and a Specialty Membership in Periodontics from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Dr Anwar has held significant roles in oral surgery, sedation dentistry, oral medicine, and restorative dentistry, including as an in-house general dental practitioner at the internationally-recognised University of Cambridge. He also serves as the chair of the British Dental Association’s Brent and Harrow branch, and was previously a Dental Ambassador for the Royal College of Surgeons.

As a specialist, Dr Anwar believes in patient-centred care, and uses anxiety reduction techniques and tailored approaches to ease anxious patients. He is dedicated to helping improve his patients’ quality of life through the maintenance of long-term periodontal health.

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