If you've ever wondered "can allergies cause dry mouth?", you might have struggled to find a concrete answer. Allergic reactions themselves don't give you dry mouth, but several factors relating to allergies can lead to this side effect. So the answer to the question is yes: allergies can indirectly result in dryness of the mouth (also known as xerostomia), along with all the potential complications that accompany the condition.
Can Allergies Cause Dry Mouth?
There are three primary links between allergic reactions and a dry mouth, including:
- Allergic rhinitis–which is caused by a significant number of allergies – is a common culprit, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). This results in congestion of the sinus cavity. When your nasal passages are blocked, you're forced to breathe through your mouth more than usual. Your mouth tissues then become dry from constant contact with air and the presence of bacteria.
- The lack of fluids that accompanies allergic rhinitis can make you become mildly dehydrated.
- Antihistamines, which are recommended by physicians and pharmacists to treat allergies, are a known cause of dry mouth.
It's almost impossible to avoid allergic reactions completely, but you can treat them with antihistamines, corticosteroids and decongestants, among other remedies, says the AAFA. Some patients find relief through naturopathic treatments and alternative options such as acupuncture, while others benefit from the use of alcohol-free mouth rinses like Colgate® Enamel Health™ Mouthwash, which can be used twice a day.
For the majority, however, it comes down to choosing between suffering with dry mouth caused by medication or their original allergy. The latter can be dangerous to your health and still give you dry mouth through dehydration and congestion. Your best bet is to discuss the problem with your doctor and try to find an antihistamine that has fewer effects on your mouth, and to maintain your oral hygiene through the use of products specially formulated for this purpose.