Ragweed Allergy and Tooth Pain: How is it connected

Ragweed allergies are related to sinus-related tooth pain for many individuals. Sinus-related tooth pain usually has a gradual onset and is often characterized as a dull ache around upper molars. Dr. Kimberly Polley, your family and emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE can help you determine whether or not you are suffering from sinus-related tooth pain or tooth pain from dental problems. 

In this article, Dr. Kimberly Polley explains how tooth pain and allergies can be connected.

Ragweed allergies are most common during the months of August and  September, although many people suffer from allergies well into November. It is estimated that 20% of people in the U.S. suffer from ragweed allergy.

Ragweed allergies are caused by an allergic reaction to a weed that is common throughout the U.S. The pollen from this weed can travel hundreds of miles and survive in a variety of areas, making it difficult to avoid contact. 

Image of a woman who is sneezing due to allergies.

What are the symptoms of ragweed allergy?

Any of our dentists or even our biological dentist can explain tooth pain symptoms that may be related to ragweed allergies, which can include the following:

  • Runny, Stuffy Nose
  • Itchy Eyes or Throat
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Sinus-related toothaches

In severe cases, a ragweed allergy can even cause asthma, chronic sinusitis or severe non-localized toothache.

Image of a woman thinking about a dental procedure to treat tooth pain. She's wondering if a biological dentist could help.

Can a ragweed allergy affect my teeth?

Ragweed allergies can create inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, which puts pressure against the nerves of the upper molars, causing a sinus-related toothache. This tooth pain is not always on both sides, and can mimic the symptoms of a severe toothache. This type of tooth pain can feel like it is moving as you bend over or move your head from side to side. If you are not sure if you are experiencing tooth pain from a cavity, tooth infection or sinus-related tooth pain, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your Lincoln, NE dentist to evaluate your teeth and rule out any dental-related causes of tooth pain. If you normally suffer from allergies, try taking an antihistamine. If your symptoms improve, it is more likely to be sinus-related tooth pain.

Looking for an allergist? Ask our biological dentist, or any of our other dentists to help point you in the right direction.

The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.

Image of a curious young man with tooth pain.

Can a ragweed allergy affect my gums?

Seasonal allergies can affect the gums, causing them to become red, swollen and even painful. This is due to the sinus congestion making it difficult to breathe through the nose. The soft tissues in the mouth ideally exist in a moist environment. If these tissues become dried out from mouth-breathing, the tissues become irritated and inflamed.  

Image of ragweed. A potential tooth pain trigger as described by your biological dentist in Lincoln, NE.

Can ragweed allergy lead to bleeding gums?

Ragweed allergies can lead to bleeding gums in some cases. The drying effect of mouth-breathing on soft tissues creates irritation along with making the tooth surface more hospitable to plaque-bacteria, creating an inflammatory response in the body from an overgrowth of bacteria along the gumline.

Image of tooth pain that has been linked to a cavity.

Can ragweed allergy lead to cavities?

Mouth breathing causes dry mouth as well as taking antihistamine medications. These medications reduce mucus production throughout the body. In an ideal environment, the mouth is able to maintain a healthy level of important enzymes to neutralize acids from our food as well as the acids created by the bacteria that live in the mouth. When there is an insufficient quantity of saliva or the quality of saliva flow in the mouth is not ideal, these protective buffers are less capable of counteracting acids from foods and reducing plaque formation on the teeth, which can lead to cavities and tooth pain long-term.

Image of a woman who is covering her mouth because of bad breath.

Can Ragweed Allergy Cause Bad Breath?

Mouth breathing and taking antihistamines dry out the mouth, making it easier for plaque to multiply and create inflammation or tooth decay. This combined with post-nasal drip and inflammation of the throat and sinuses can create a bad odor that cannot be removed by brushing. It is best to continue with an excellent oral hygiene routine of brushing twice daily, flossing daily and rinsing with antimicrobial rinse to reduce inflammation caused by plaque-bacteria. This will also help reduce sensitive and bleeding gums as much as possible during allergy season.

sneezing man

How Do I Know the Difference Between Allergies and a Cold?

Symptoms of allergies and a cold are very similar. If the symptoms are prolonged more than a few weeks, it is likely that you are suffering from seasonal allergies. You can have allergy tests done to determine what environmental allergies you may have. While you many not have just seasonal allergies, but other more serious allergies, you may be cautious about dentistry and understandably so. For those who prefer the approach of biological dentistry, Dr. Kathryn Alderman may be just who you are looking for.

dr barth interacting with patient who has a tooth pain

Can a Dentist Help With Allergies? Can I see just any Denist, or do I need to see a Biological Dentist?

Dentists can help you identify whether your tooth pain is related to seasonal allergies or a dental problem. If you are suffering from tooth pain and are not sure if it is a sinus-related toothache or a true dental condition, schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE to evaluate your teeth. Your dentist can also help you control inflammation of the gum tissue during allergy season. Dentists can also refer you to an allergy specialist who can help you control your allergies with medication or dietary supplements.

woman thinking of dental issue of tooth pain

Where Can I Get an Allergy Test?

You’ve probably heard of others taking allergy tests. But where can you get allergy testing done? Thankfully, you can receive allergy tests by seeing an allergist. If you’re in Lincoln, you can see Dr. Petra Razdan, an allergy expert.

Woman thinking about allergy and tooth pain solutions.; should she see a regular dentist or mybe even a biological dentist.

What kinds of allergy tests can an allergist run?

There are two main tests that an allergist will run. The most common is a skin test. In a skin test, the allergist will administer diluted allergens onto the patient’s skin and will observe for signs of reactions to the allergens. The second test is less accurate than the first. It is called a Radioallergosorbent test (RAST). This test checks the patient’s blood levels for certain antibodies which indicate certain allergies. In either case, it is worthwhile to see an allergy doctor for these reasons, as well as to receive expert allergy advice.

Image of Dr. Kathryn, your biological dentist in Lincoln, NE showing empathy for a patient with tooth pain.

Treatment Options for a Ragweed Allergy

There is no cure for a ragweed allergy. The main treatment option for treatmet of allergy to ragweed is to take antihistamines. Antihistamines are made to treat allergies and are usually the most effective solution. Otherwise, seeing an allergist or avoiding the outdoors are all good alternative solutions.

If you’re looking for an allergist in Lincoln, NE, we’ll refer you to Dr. Petra Razdan.


Commonly Asked Questions about Ragweed Allergy and Tooth Pain


Can seasonal allergies make your teeth hurt? Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE answers…

As a natural defense mechanism, the body produces extra mucus to help clear out allergens which causes pressure to build in the sinuses located above the upper molars. The pressure in the sinuses presses on the nerves of the teeth can cause symptoms of a toothache.

Can allergies make your bottom teeth hurt? Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE answers …

If your allergies are causing sinus pressure, it can result in tenderness in the face, jaw and nasal passages. This type of tooth pain is usually a dull ache, not a sharp pain.

Can allergies make your gums hurt?

Allergies cause nasal congestion which can make it difficult or impossible to breathe through your nose. Mouth breathing dries out the tissues in the mouth which are normally coated in protective saliva and mucous cells. This irritates the gums and soft tissues in the mouth and leads to bleeding gums and more bacterial buildup of plaque on the teeth, increasing symptoms of gingivitis.

Can allergies make your jaw hurt? Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE answers …

Although it is most likely that sinus pressure will affect upper molars, it is possible that the jaw can become tender if the sinus pressure has created enough inflammation to press against the nerves of the teeth which branch to the lower jaw. It is a good idea to call your emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE if you have started to experience sudden facial or tooth pain of any kind to rule out dental-related problems. 

Can gums bleed from ragweed allergies? Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE answers …

Mouth-breathing from blocked sinuses can dry out the mouth and cause more plaque to form on the teeth. This leads to inflammation of the gum tissue and bleeding, swollen gum tissue.

What is the best antihistamine for ragweed allergy? Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE answers …

Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra or Xyzal are all oral antihistamine options that can help reduce symptoms.

What are some natural home remedies for dealing with ragweed allergies? Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE answers …

Increasing your fluid intake can help the body eliminate allergens more effectively. Also, taking vitamin D to help support immune function and avoiding dairy products as they are known to increase mucous production in some individuals, can help. If those options don’t seem to be doing the trick, try staying indoors as much as possible during times with high pollen count and be sure to washing pillowcases frequently to remove any residual pollen from hair.

Wishing you health hand happiness,

Your family and emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE 

Dr kim polley

Dr. Kimberly Polley


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