We’re coming up on cold and flu season, so it’s time to start thinking about how you can properly care for your smile this winter. When you’re battling a whole-body illness, your oral health can begin to suffer as well. Keep reading to learn more from our Glendale dentists.
One of the main reasons that your smile can suffer when you’re sick is due to dehydration. Many people lose their appetites when they get sick, and this can minimize the amount of water they consume. Unfortunately, when you’re dehydrated, your body is not able to produce enough saliva. Because saliva is your body’s natural way of neutralizing bacteria, dry mouth allows oral bacteria to run rampant. You may notice that you’re dealing with hard-to-treat bad breath, and you may be more susceptible to developing cavities and gum disease.
Postnasal drip can also affect the way that your smile feels. When you have a head cold, for example, excess mucus can accumulate in the back of your throat. Your throat may start to feel sore or itchy as a result, and your breath may feel and smell stale.
There are simple things that you can do when you’re ill in order to improve the way your smile feels, and to keep it as healthy as possible:
- Drink plenty of water to ramp up saliva production
- Clean your mouth by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash as recommended by your dentist
- Switch out your toothbrush after illness, as your toothbrush can harbor bacteria and germs
- Eat a healthy diet, and limit your consumption of sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. Remember that sugars and refined carbohydrates are fuel for harmful oral bacteria!
Getting sick is already yucky enough, you don’t have to deal with unpleasant oral health symptoms as well. Our Glendale dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help you maintain a strong and healthy smile. Give us a call to get started!