cough drop

How Does Your Cold/Flu Affect Your Mouth?

January 6th, 2019

Catching a cold or the flu can be one of the worst things that come with the cold weather during winter. The (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that adults typically get a cold 2-3 times a year! A lot of challenges come with being sick, including trouble sleeping, eating, and just going about your normal daily activities. With a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and a box of tissues by your side, you may be looking to cough medicine and nasal decongestants to hide the symptoms. But, did you ever wonder how your cold or the medicines to treat them impact your teeth and mouth?  Here's some things to keep in mind in order to keep your body and mouth healthy while combatting a cold:

Stuffy Nose & Dry Mouth

It's a real struggle when you cannot breathe through your nose, especially when you're trying to get a good night's rest. As a result, you have to breathe through your mouth, which can cause you to experience dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is less saliva flow, which can also occur from taking nasal decongestants like sudafed to remedy your stuffy nose. Unfortunately, dry mouth not only makes it hard to swallow, it can also impact your mouth by promoting bacterial growth. So, when taking nasal decongestants to help your cold, stay hydrated with water and chewing xylitol-containing gum can help stimulate saliva flow. You can also try using a humidifier in the room you sleep in.

Sinus & Tooth Pain 

Another obstacle that you may face as a result of being sick is tenderness and pain around your sinuses as a result of sinusitis. This can cause you to feel like you have a toothache in your upper jaw since they are near your sinuses. Some signs of sinusitis include a yellow colored mucous drainage, and pressure near your mid-face. Fortunately, this experience should improve once your cold clears up.

Cough Drops/Syrup & Throat Lozenges

Here's the scoop on cough syrup, cough drops and sore throat lozenges:  most of the time these products contain sugar for flavor and can be damaging to your teeth as they are held in your mouth for long periods of time. Not to mention, cough syrups are sticky and can remain on teeth and cause harm to your enamel. Try to look for pills, sugar-free cough drops, and sore throat lozenges as these are best for your oral health! Be sure to also keep your regular oral care routine brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

Orange Juice

Orange juice is loaded with vitamin C to help your immune system fight your cold. Due to the acidity which can weaken your tooth enamel, try drinking orange juice in one sitting during a meal, and drink water afterwards to help protect your tooth from the acid.

As you fight a cold/flu keep your dental health in mind and replace your toothbrush once you feel better so you can start fresh!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/dry-mouth/how-the-common-cold-teeth-and-oral-health-are-connected-1215

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