Cold, flu and tooth pain

If you’ve ever had a serious cold or the flu, you know the aches and pains that come with it – including tooth pain. But have you ever wondered why these illnesses make your teeth hurt?

More than likely the pain is due to sinus inflammation. Inside your mouth are upper molars located directly below your sinuses. Since the nerves of your teeth are extremely sensitive it doesn’t take much sinus pressure for the pain to begin. Find yourself sneezing or coughing and the pain only intensifies.

While the pain is uncomfortable, it’s important to remember the importance of good hygiene, even while sick, including brushing regularly and consuming plenty of fluids especially water or hot tea. If you need to use cough drops, look for ones that are sugar-free.

If you have the stomach flu with vomiting, wait a few minutes after each episode to brush your teeth. It may sound gross, but vomit contains stomach acids that get on your teeth. Brushing immediately causes those acids to be rubbed into your teeth doing further damage. Instead of immediately brushing, the American Dental Association recommends “swishing with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. of baking soda to help was the acid away … then brushing about 30 minutes later.”

We hope that you escape the winter illness-free, but if not, remember to take care of your teeth and yourself so you can return to your daily life as quickly as possible!