Surprisingly, minor food allergies can more frequently lead to oral issues than major ones do. Where severe reactions are best managed by recognizing signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, using epinephrine and getting medical care, minor allergies may be treated with antihistamines. Antihistamines can cause dry mouth, which may result in tooth decay. It’s important to drink plenty of water when taking antihistamines.
Additionally, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to stop eating the foods the cause the response. Some foods can be eliminated with no consequences, but other eliminations may deprive you of vitamins and minerals that are vital for a healthy smile.
Here are some common allergens and what you can replace them with. The proper replacements ensure that you can get the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain your oral health.
• Cow’s milk: Cow’s milk provides teeth-strengthening calcium and vitamin D. Dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach are excellent sources of calcium, as are non-dairy milks that have been fortified with calcium. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish such as salmon and egg yolks, as well as vitamin D-fortified orange juice and breakfast cereals.
• Shellfish, peanuts and eggs: Shellfish, peanuts and eggs provide phosphorus, which helps protect tooth enamel. You can find phosphorus in lean cuts of beef pork and poultry as well as beans, lentils, soy and whole grains.
• Raw fruits and vegetables: Many fruits and vegetables provide vitamin C, which is essential for keeping teeth and gums healthy. You can try eating fruits and veggies that don’t cause a reaction. Green leafy vegetables, strawberries and kiwis are good alternatives to citrus fruit. You can also try eating peeled fruits and vegetables, as the allergy-causing proteins tend to be in the skin, or cooking fruits and vegetables to break down the proteins that cause allergic reactions.