Just because it is hot outside does not mean we are safe from the common cold. We call it the common cold for a reason! Even in the hot summer months, it is very easy to fall victim to the common cold, especially when we often enjoy long swims in the pool to escape the Texas heat. Being in the water for too long increases the risk of catching a cold. In addition to the many well-known cold symptoms, a cold can also affect your oral health.

3 Ways the Common Cold Affects Oral Health

Being sick can cause dry mouth

A stuffy or runny nose often causes you to breath through your mouth. This increased air flow can cause the mouth to dry up quickly, reducing the flow of saliva. Salivating helps keep the mouth clean by washing away any sugar, plaque, or bacteria that may stick to your teeth. When the flow of saliva is reduced, this harmful debris stays attached to the teeth, which contributes to tooth decay.

Additionally, the body is likely to become dehydrated when sick. Because dehydration can also cause poor dental health, it is important to drink plenty of fluid while sick to remain hydrated.

Cold medicine can be harmful to your teeth

Many medicines used to combat the symptoms of a cold can also hurt your teeth and gums. Common cough medicines often contain high amounts of sugar for added flavor, and this increases the likelihood of tooth decay. The thick consistency of cough syrup makes it easier for this medicine to stick to your teeth.While sugar-free cough drops are much safer, regular cough drops are just a solid version of its syrupy counterpart, and will also coat your teeth in sugar.

Consider substituting these sugary solutions for medicine in the form of a pill. A pill normally will not have as much sugar as a syrup or cough drop.

Sickness can increase tooth and gum sensitivity

A stuffed nose can cause inflamed sinuses. Since the maxillary sinus is located just above the top of your mouth, the upper gums and teeth can often become irritated during a cold. Increased levels of tooth and gum sensitivity can sometimes make it painful to thoroughly brush your teeth.

Although being sick can cause sensitive teeth and gums, it is important to continue practicing proper oral care. To reduce the dental harm caused by sickness, please consider brushing your teeth 2 to 3 times each day.

How Sugarland Dental Spa can Help

Being sick for extended periods of time can have a negative impact on your oral health. When recovering from being sick, visiting a dentist can reduce the harm caused by the cold. To schedule an appointment with the Sugarland Dental Spa in the Houston, Texas area, give us a call at (281) 549-5177 or contact us online!