Could Your Teeth be Connected to the Flu or a Cold?

a man sick in bed with text "your teeth and cold are connected" on itIt’s the time of year that many of us dread, the cold and Flu season says Jay M. Marks, DMD. When we are struck with either, the last things we may think about are our teeth or gums. As we are reaching for our next Kleenex, we should be aware that there are some things related to the Flu and colds that do affect our dental health. Knowing about these effects can prevent dental health problems.
1. Drink fluids to stay hydrated and prevent a dry mouth.

A dry mouth can easily create an environment that subjects us to cavities, as bacteria and acids are not washed away. A side effect of the Flu and colds can be a stuffed nose and sinuses. This causes us to breath through our mouths. Along with less production of saliva, cavities are much more apt to form.

2. Protect your teeth from bad stuff

If you suck on cough drops, be aware that many of them are full of sugar to make them taste good. Look for sugar-free drops as an alternative. Cough syrups are also full of sugar. If used, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after use, especially if retiring for the evening. As we know, acids are terrible for our teeth, so -(sorry to mention this)- if you throw up, rinse your mouth, and then brush your teeth.

3. You can be very tired during this episode

However, now is not the time to be lazy concerning your dental health. It is even more important now to brush and floss. This may even prevent the further spread of diseases.

Important Do’s 

  • Get the Flu shot
  • Take Vitamin C, B+, and multivitamins
  • Maintain healthy habits- physical activity, hydrate, eat healthily
  • Wash your hands so you don’t catch or spread germs

Things to avoid
  • Drinking from someone else’s glass
  • Going to work if you are sick
  • Touching your face- mouth, nose, eyes
  • Aspirin to children with a fever under 14 years old (causes Reyes Syndrome)
  • Taking the wrong dose of medications
  • Go scuba diving with clogged ears- it will be a painful experience. If you take a decongestant and it wears off, you will have a reverse squeeze upon ascending to the surface, painful!