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Do Your Teeth Tingle?

Did you know that many people who are allergic to plant pollens, who are likely to experience blocked noses and irritated eyes during the summer months, are also likely to develop oral allergy syndrome. Oral allergy syndrome causes an itching or tingling sensation in the mouth after eating fruit or vegetables, and may also cause swelling.

Oral allergy syndrome often occurs without warning, even if those who are allergic to plant pollens have never experienced it before, and it is believed to be a result of confusion in the immune system, which mistakes the proteins in certain fruits and vegetables for pollen. Like hayfever, it worsens when pollen levels are high, although there is no test for oral allergy syndrome and it can occur at any time.

Important Facts About Oral Allergy Syndrome

  1. An allergy to birch pollen could make you more likely to develop oral allergy syndrome. The protein found in birch pollen is very similar to some of the proteins found in fruits and nuts, and it is thought that 50-75% of people with birch allergies will experience oral allergy syndrome.
  2. Some fruits and vegetables are more likely to trigger oral allergy syndrome than others, and common culprits include cherries, apples and other fruit with pits, as well as carrots.
  3. Some nuts, including peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds, are likely to cause mouth itching for people who are allergic to birch pollen.
  4. If you are allergic to grasses, you may find that you react to melons, tomatoes, celery, oranges and peaches, while a ragweed sensitivity often links with sensitivities to bananas, cucumbers, courgettes and melons.
  5. Peeling or cooking the fruits and vegetables you are sensitive to may reduce your symptoms of oral allergy syndrome, since this may stop your immune system from recognizing the proteins as pollen.

How Is Oral Allergy Syndrome Treated?

Oral allergy syndrome is usually managed by avoiding the trigger foods, and anti-histamine medication can help, but you should speak to your doctor to rule out a serious allergic reaction that may require emergency treatment.

If you notice that you are experiencing reactions to nuts, you should also seek medical advice as this may be a nut allergy, which can be fatal.

You should see your doctor if you are experiencing significant throat discomfort, if you are reacting to fruits and vegetables that are cooked, or if your symptoms are worsening. If you develop symptoms such as vomiting or difficulty breathing, you should take medical advice, and this may be urgent if you feel dizzy or shocked, or notice a rapid pulse.

Find An Experienced Family Dentist in Cork

Tooth sensitivity can also be the result of many oral health conditions, such as gum disease or eroded enamel. You can talk to your dentist about sensitive teeth at any time, and he or she will recommend the best course of action for you.

Visit us at the Guiney Dental Clinic in Ballincollig to meet our friendly team, who will be happy to discuss your dental needs with you. It can be difficult to find the right dentist for your whole family, and our Dentists and Dental Hygienists are experienced in making everyone feel comfortable during an appointment. Call today on 021-481 0535.

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