3 Ways Food Allergies Can Endanger Your Oral Health

If you notice unusual or abnormal oral symptoms that are not related to your current medical conditions or existing dental problems, you might have food allergies.  Although the most common manifestations of food allergies include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, you may also notice problems with your gums, teeth, and lips, as well as the skin that lines the insides of your cheeks. Here are three ways your food allergies and your allergy treatments can harm your oral cavity, and what you can do about them:

Gingival Tissue Abnormalities

Your food allergies can cause problems with your gums such as inflammation, pain, and bleeding. When foods cause allergic reactions, your body expresses chemicals known as pro-inflammatory cytokines. These chemicals trigger systemic inflammation as well as local inflammation inside your mouth.

In addition to inflammation, bleeding, and pain, food allergies may also cause severe itching of your lips and tongue, throat constriction, and numbness. If you experience painful or swollen gums after eating that is not related to gingivitis, you may have food allergies, and you should make an appointment with both your dentist and your allergist.


Although your food allergies may not be directly related to cavity development, the treatments that you use to manage your allergic symptoms may raise your risk.  Allergy sufferers often take over-the-counter medications known as antihistamines, and while these drugs are effective, they can cause side effects such as a dry mouth. 

When your salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva to wash away cavity-causing microorganisms from your mouth, tooth pulp infections and carious teeth can develop. If you take antihistamines to manage your allergies, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your mouth from drying out and to help wash away germs.

Abnormal Cheek Lining

If you notice inflammation, burning sensations, or intense redness inside your mouth, you may have food allergies. Allergens in foods may lead to swelling of your tongue, lips, throat, and lining of your cheeks. If the insides of your cheeks swell up as a result of food allergies, you may be more prone to accidentally biting them when eating, or even when you sleep. 

This can raise your risk for infection, however, if your dentist notices any abnormalities in your oral mucosa, he or she can recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce inflammation while lowering your risk for infection. 

If you are allergic to certain foods, work with both your dentist and physician to devise a treatment plan to keep your mouth healthy and manage your allergy symptoms. When your allergies are promptly treated, you are more likely to enjoy excellent oral health. For more information, contact companies like Airport Road Dental Associates.