John P. Goodman DDS

Special Oral Health Considerations during Cold and Flu Season

By Dr. John Goodman on February 20, 2020

Adult female grasps at throat with look of discomfortDuring cold and flu season, there are special oral health considerations that can help you avoid getting sick. If you catch a cold, maintaining good oral health can help with your overall sense of well-being while promoting a healthy and quick recovery. The link between oral health and overall health is clear, and cold and flu season is just one example of that relationship.

If you are showing symptoms of a cold, please let a member of our dental team know. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need to postpone your visit to our Kansas City, MO, dental practice. Here, our skilled dentist and our team discuss other considerations regarding oral health and cold and flu season.

The Importance of Oral Health for Fighting Germs

Our body’s immune system is critical to preventing and fighting infections. One factor that determines the health of our immune system is the state of an individual’s oral health. Oral-systemic health refers to the relationship between the body and the mouth. A healthy mouth that is free of decay and gum disease can promote your body’s natural defenses. This can prevent the contraction of a virus or mitigate its effects once contracted.

The pillars of optimal oral health are good oral hygiene habits and regular visits to our Kansas City dental practice for exams and cleanings. Eating a nutritious diet and avoiding tobacco products are also an important components of maintaining oral health.

Dental Advice for When You Do Become Sick

Even with careful precautions, you can still contract a virus. While the virus runs its course, it is important to not skimp on important oral hygiene habits. The American Dental Association offers tips and advice on how to care for your oral health while you recover.

Brushing and flossing may not be at the top of your to-do list when you are feeling under the weather. But being sick can create unique oral health issues. If you are sick, acids from your stomach can cause serious damage to tooth enamel. The ADA recommends swishing with water following these episodes to cleanse your mouth of harmful acids.

Cough drops and some cough syrups often contain as much sugar as some candies. If the sugar builds up along your teeth, it can create conditions that lead to tooth decay. Look for sugar-free cough drops, which are just as effective as sugary alternatives.

Another symptom of being sick is dry mouth. Like sugar, dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Keep your mouth from drying out by drinking water, tea, or other drinks. At our Kansas City practice, we also recommend staying away from sugary drinks if possible. Your best bet is to drink lots of water.

Being sick can adversely affect our sense of wellness. Many patients find that having a clean mouth actually lifts their spirits and leads to feelings of wellbeing.

Schedule Your Visit with Dr. John Goodman Today

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits can help you prevent catching a bug. If you do become sick, there are special considerations that should be followed to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems while you recover. If you have any questions about your oral health during flu season, please contact our office online or call (816) 842-8585.

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