We apologize in advance if winter is your favourite time of year. For many of us, it really isn’t! Whether that’s true for you or not, it’s irrelevant when it comes to all that yucky stuff that often comes with winter. What is it that comes other than snow and cold temps? Quite often, it’s nasty things like a virus, the dreaded norwalk, colds and/or the flu. That’s what comes with winter – that uninvited guest that no one ever welcomes into the home. What does that have to do with teeth? Read on!
Too often during cold and flu season we forget about our teeth and yet they too can suffer and/or even prolong our illness. Our teeth, mouth and tongue play a vital role in helping to maintain our overall health and neglecting them during a particularly bad bout of flu is not a good idea. Here’s why:
- If you have been sick with the flu your teeth might hurt because of clogged or congested sinuses. Sinusitis (inflammation in the sinuses) can cause pressure on the maxillary, upper back teeth. This will only add to your discomfort and it may be that you need to use an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever or you may even require a visit to the Dr. for antibiotics. Some medications can then have an adverse effect on your teeth.
- Colds and flu are a breeding ground for even more bacteria so regular good oral care is still a necessity. It might be the last thing you feel like doing but brushing your teeth with a cold is still important and will help prevent the build up of even more symptom-inducing bacteria.
- Dry mouth – caused by having to sleep, talk and even breathe with your mouth open due to nasal stuffiness, can lead to excessive dry mouth and lack of saliva production. As saliva is an important part of helping clear your mouth and teeth of harmful bacteria, again – brushing is critical. As well, some medications can also alter the level and types of bacteria in your mouth and gut so regular brushing remains important.
- A bad case of a norovirus can see the icky germs kicking around in your mouth for as long as a one to three days after you’ve started feeling better and that’s not good for your teeth and gums. All that vomiting isn’t good for your teeth either. Again, it’s best to keep brushing and flushing out your mouth during this time even if you don’t really feel like it and then, when symptoms have subsided, change your toothbrush for a new one to be 100% sure nothing nasty is lingering.
Perhaps you sensed a theme with each of these bullet points. Bottom line, whether in sickness or in health, brush your teeth! In the long-run it will aid in feeling better faster and over the short term, brushing will at lest help you feel temporarily clean and refreshed while you’re still under the weather. When you’re feeling better, consider a visit to Brinkley Dental – your family friendly dental team in Brampton and in the meantime, as we always like to say: ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”