There is new treatment for allergy sufferers, and it comes in a surprising form – as toothpaste.
As a performer, Daniel Vito Siefring relies on his voice. So his allergy symptoms and traditional treatments for them have posed special challenges.
"It’s so oppressive. You're itching watering eyes. And congestion where it is just...eww...there is only do much you can do," said Siefring
Siefring has taken allergy medications, but they caused his throat to dry. He also tried shots but with his schedule it was difficult to consistently come in for treatment. His doctor recommended he try Allerdent, a toothpaste that provides immunotherapy.
"It is a convenient therapy that literally melts into their daily routine. So they can't forget the treatment and it doesn't feel like they are getting treatment,” said Dr. William Reisacher, Director of Allergy Services, Weill Cornell Medicine and NY Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Reisacher developed the treatment when he realized patients kept missing allergy shots because they didn't have time for them. Patients also would forget to use the under-the-tongue drops.
Each tube of Allerdent is tailored to treat a patient’s specific allergies. They brush for two minutes twice a day like they would with any other toothpaste.
"It is a fully-functional toothpaste,” said Dr. Reisacher. “It can come with or without fluoride. It cleans the teeth. It protects against cavities."
Dr. Reisacher says the toothpaste also works well when treating children because it is easier to begin treatment at a younger age.
"Unfortunately, many kids and many parents of kids don't want their child to undergo shots plus small kids are unable to keep liquid drops under their tongue,” said Dr. Reisacher. “So this is a group that is not getting any desensitization or any treatment until they get much older."
Siefring says that after using the toothpaste for two years, his allergies have improved. "The effects are much better,” he said. “I don't get massive sinus headaches. I don't have tons of congestion, post nasal drip."