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Cold and flu season is here, and they are just as hard on your oral health as they are your body. You will need to take care of yourself as your body fights the attack, and we have some ways for you to care for your smile along the way. Our Jackson Dental team in Carrollton, Texas, encourages you to do everything you can to keep your smile safe during an illness.

Toothache: Along with a runny nose, a sore throat, a cough, sneezing, colds can actually give you a toothache! This happens when the bacteria from your cold create a sinus infection. You see, as sinus cavities become plugged up, they can press down on the tooth roots, causing them pain. This happens mainly from the big sinus cavity above your upper jaw.

Bad breath: Colds bring on post nasal drips, where excess mucus drips down the back of your throat and into your mouth. As this mucus-filled environment feeds the oral bacteria and they multiply, you are left with really bad breath.

Dry Mouth: Colds often result in having a stuffy nose, which is often treated by taking decongestants and antihistamines so you can breathe again. Unfortunately, these also dry out the nasal passages so you end up with an oral condition called dry mouth. Dry mouth lowers saliva levels in the mouth, which normally washes away bacteria and plaque build-up.

To help your mouth stay healthy when you aren’t, we suggest the following:

Hydrate: Drink up! Your mouth and body need all the fluids they can get to fight your cold. Water, herbal teas with lemon and honey, soups, broths, juices, and electrolyte-replacing sports drinks can help your saliva levels stay high.

Clean: Brush twice a day and floss daily no matter how tired you feel. Bacteria and plaque still attack teeth and gums while you are sick.

Rinse: Gargling throughout the day with a salt water mix will soothe your throat while killing harmful bacteria and washing away plague. Salt water is also good for your oral tissues and can keep them healthy

Care for your teeth and gums every day whether you are sick or healthy, and your smile will thank you. To schedule a visit with our dentist, Dr. Robert Jackson, or to find answers to your oral health concerns, please call us at 972-492-1064 today!