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Our Morristown & Summit Prosthodontics team in Summit, New Jersey, has some tips to share with you today on how to navigate your smile through cold and flu season. While colds and flu make you feel bad overall, they are particularly stressful for your smile.

If you succumb to a sinus infection, your teeth may hurt from the pressure. Since the biggest sinus cavity is above your upper jaw, the fluid buildup from a sinus infection sometimes press down on your tooth roots, and you end up with an achy tooth. Not only that, but post nasal drip can cause your smile to suffer bad breath from the excess mucus dripping into the back of the mouth. Colds and bacterial infections are the culprits in this case as the mucus provides a bacterial rich environment.

A cold can also result in a sore throat, along with a runny nose, coughing and sneezing. It can also cause dry mouth because you are constantly having to breathe from your mouth, thanks to a stuffy nose. Taking antihistamines and decongestants, while useful for drying out the nose, also dries out your mouth. This means your saliva can’t do its job effectively because it can’t freely wash away oral bacteria and plaque.

So what can you do if you have a cold or flu? Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and fight the infection. Soothing soups and broths, herbal teas with honey and lemon, water, juice, ginger ale, and even sports drinks with electrolytes. Be sure brush and floss no matter how exhausted you are from feeling sick. Brush for two minutes at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Fighting cavities and gingivitis (gum disease) doesn’t take a holiday even when you are sick.

Gargle with a solution of salt water in some warm water to get rid of bacteria in the mouth and throat. This will also help fight against bad breath and plaque in the mouth. Gargle and spit until your mouth feels fresh. And once your sickness is over, throw away your toothbrush and get a new one. You don’t want to reinfect yourself with the bacteria on the brush.

Navigating cold and flu season doesn’t have to take a toll on your smile with proper care. If you have any oral health concerns, please give our team a call at 908-273-0884 today. Our dentist, Dr. Madalina Iorgulescu is here for your smile!