:DentalPlans offers tips on whether to skip or keep a dental visit during allergy seasonPLANTATION, FL (Feb. 23, 2015)--Spring is headed our way, along with hay fever, allergies and occasionally even that last winter cold. If you are due for your 6-month dental checkup but have come down with the sniffles, how do you know whether or not it’s best to skip your dentist appointment?
“Knowing the difference between an allergy and a cold can be tricky,” says Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans. “When you are in doubt, it’s best to wait it out, and reschedule for another date. But make sure that you do see the dentist when you are feeling better because we know that oral health is critical to a person’s overall health.”
In addition, :DentalPlans offers this handy guide to help differentiate allergies versus a cold.*
Just sneezes all the time – shouldn’t really mind. If sudden sneezing is your only symptom, or if all of these symptoms – sneezing, coughing, itching, and runny nose -- come on simultaneously (minus a fever) chances are you are dealing with allergies. Allergies are non-contagious.
Fever and stomachaches – put on the breaks. Allergies alone do not cause a spike in body temperature**; so if your temperature is elevated, it is best to see your doctor first and see the dentist when you feel better. The same holds true for stomachaches.
Viruses spread – stay in the bed. If you have come into contact with several people that have been feeling ill and you are now sick, it may best to stay home and reschedule your appointment. According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, viruses, like influenza are highly contagious, “Most people improve within a week, but for elderly people, infants and children, and people with some chronic diseases, influenza can be life-threatening. In the United States, more than 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations are related to seasonal influenza each year.”***
Sinus Infection? A more complicated direction. A sinus infection occurs when bacteria grows in the fluid that is trapped in one or more of your sinus cavities. According to The Academy of General Dentistry, TMJ, sinus or ear infections and tension in the facial muscles can cause discomfort that resembles a toothache, but often these health problems are accompanied by a headache. If your dentist suspects a medical illness could be the cause of your toothache, he or she may refer you to a physician.
It is important that your primary care doctor and dentist collaborate on your care if you have a sinus infection and your oral health is involved. Call your dentist’s office ahead to see what they recommend.
*:DentalPlans provides general information only and does not provide medical advice. These tips are not a substitute for your dentist or your primary care doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.
**Source: Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America Website, First created 1995; fully updated 1998; most recently updated 2005.?© Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) Editorial Board, http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18&cont=480
***Source: The October 19, 2011, issue of JAMA includes an article about H1N1 influenza. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the November 4, 2009, issue of JAMA,
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is the largest dental savings plan marketplace in the U.S., offering consumers access to 40+ dental savings plans from trusted healthcare brands, like Aetna, Careington, Signature Wellness, and UNI-CARE. Plan members have access to more than 100,000 dentists nationwide.
:DentalPlans, which has been included in the INC. 5000 list 2011-13, is committed to making you smile by making access to quality oral healthcare affordable and available to everyone. Visit us at www.dentalplans.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dentalplans.