Learn More About How Your Smile May Change When You Are Sick

Written by Dr. McKay on Feb 25, 2020

No one wants to get sick, but it’s a fact of life with which we must all deal from time to time. Our Toluca Lake dentists are here to help you maintain your smile no matter what you’re going through. Keep reading to learn more about the ways in which your oral health may be altered by illness.

Whether you are dealing with head cold or the flu, one of the most common side effects of illness is dry mouth. Many people become dehydrated when they are sick, and dry-mouth is additionally a side effect of many readily used medications.

If you notice that your mouth feels dry, stale, or gritty, it’s a sign that you aren’t producing enough saliva. This gives oral bacteria an ideal environment in which to grow.

  • Try rinsing your mouth with water throughout the day
  • Take special care to rinse after vomiting, as stomach acid can damage your smile
  • Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water
  • Set up a humidifier, so that your sleeping environment is not as dry

Another thing you may notice when you are ill is that you develop throat discomfort and irritation. Post-nasal drip, which occurs when mucus from your sinuses moves into your throat and mouth, can be improved by rinsing with warm salt water. Your dentist may additionally recommend mouth rinses formulated specifically to numb and sooth oral tissues.

The key oral health goal during illness is to maintain an oral environment that allows your body to heal, and keep bacterial build-up at bay. Clean your mouth as thoroughly as possible, and choose water over sugary or acidic beverages whenever possible.

Our Toluca Lake dentists are happy to provide you with more information about caring for your smile in sickness and in health. Give our office a call to get started with a personal consultation.