Doctor Plotka's Blog

16 Oct 2023

The Surprising Connection Between Cold & Flu Season and Oral Health

Fall and winter are seasons marked not only by chilly temperatures and cozy sweaters, but also by the menacing presence of cold and flu viruses. As these unwelcome guests make their debut, wreaking havoc on our respiratory systems, you might not realize that they can also have an unexpected impact on your oral health.

woman laying under a blanket on couch with a cold

Dry mouth, tooth sensitivity, and a weakened immune response are just a few surprising connections between the common cold, the flu, and your teeth and gums. In this blog, we will dive into the intricate relationship between cold and flu season and oral health, exploring the effects these illnesses can have and offering practical tips to protect your pearly whites throughout the winter months. So, brace yourself as we uncover the hidden links that tie your oral health to the season of sniffles and sneezes.,

Dry Mouth: A Common Symptom
Dry mouth is a common symptom that many people experience when they have a cold or the flu. While it may not seem like a major concern compared to other symptoms, dry mouth can actually have a significant impact on your oral health.

When you have a stuffy nose or are constantly coughing, you may breathe through your mouth more often than usual. This can cause your mouth to become dry and parched, as the normal flow of saliva is disrupted. Saliva plays a crucial role in keeping your mouth healthy by washing away food particles, neutralizing acids, and preventing tooth decay. So when your mouth becomes dry, you are more prone to developing dental issues such as cavities and gum disease.

Dry mouth can also lead to bad breath. Saliva helps to rinse away bacteria in your mouth, and without enough of it, these bacteria can flourish, resulting in foul-smelling breath. This can be particularly problematic during cold and flu season when you may be in close proximity to others and want to maintain fresh breath. Additionally, when your mouth is dry, you may experience discomfort and difficulty in speaking, chewing, and swallowing. This can make it challenging to maintain proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, which are essential for keeping your teeth and gums in optimal condition.

To combat dry mouth during cold and flu season, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. Swishing water around in your mouth can also help temporarily alleviate dryness. Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free lozenges can stimulate saliva flow, providing some relief. Using a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air and help prevent dry mouth while you sleep.

While dry mouth may seem like a minor inconvenience, it can have a significant impact on your oral health. By understanding the connection between dry mouth and oral health, and taking proactive steps to keep your mouth moist, you can protect your pearly whites throughout the winter months. So, don't overlook the importance of keeping your mouth hydrated as you navigate the season of sniffles and sneezes.,

small child with curly hair covering mouth with both hands

Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Another common issue that can arise during cold and flu season is increased tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity can be brought on by a variety of factors, including dry mouth and the use of certain medications. When your mouth becomes dry, either from breathing through your mouth due to congestion or from the effects of certain medications, the protective saliva that coats your teeth is reduced. Without this protective layer, your teeth are more exposed to the elements and can become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, as well as sweet and acidic foods.

To combat tooth sensitivity during cold and flu season, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, it's important to address any underlying dry mouth issues. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day is key. Swishing water around in your mouth can also help temporarily alleviate dryness. Additionally, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free lozenges can stimulate saliva flow, providing some relief from the discomfort of sensitivity.

Furthermore, taking extra care with your oral hygiene routine can help alleviate sensitivity. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth can help protect your enamel and reduce discomfort. It's also important to avoid excessive brushing or brushing too vigorously, as this can worsen sensitivity. Instead, gently brush your teeth in a circular motion and be mindful of any discomfort.

It's important to recognize the potential causes of tooth sensitivity, such as dry mouth and medication usage, and take proactive steps to alleviate the discomfort. By addressing dry mouth through hydration and stimulating saliva flow, as well as practicing gentle and effective oral hygiene, you can help protect your teeth from increased sensitivity. This sets the stage for the next section on the connection between weakened immune response and oral health, highlighting the importance of overall oral health during the cold and flu season.

cold remedies such as honey, lemon and cloves

Weakened Immune Response
During the colder months, our bodies are more susceptible to illnesses like colds and the flu, which can take a toll on our immune system. When our immune system is compromised, it becomes harder for our bodies to fight off bacteria and infections in our mouths. This can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

Additionally, the medications we may take to alleviate flu symptoms, such as cough drops or syrups, can also contribute to certain issues. Many of these medications contain high amounts of sugar or acidic ingredients, which can damage tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.

Ensuring we are taking steps to boost our immune system, such as getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and staying hydrated, can go a long way in protecting our oral health.

As we move forward, we will explore how to maintain good oral hygiene during the winter months, taking into account both the factors we've discussed so far and the importance of a strong immune response. By understanding the connection between oral health and our immune systems, we can better equip ourselves to combat the oral health challenges that cold and flu season brings.,

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene During the Winter Months
To combat these challenges and maintain good oral hygiene during the winter, it is important to adopt a proactive approach. Regular brushing and flossing are essential, but it's also crucial to pay attention to other aspects of our oral health routine.

Using mouthwashes that contain fluoride can help strengthen our teeth and protect against cavities. Fluoride mouthwashes have been shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay and promote overall oral health. It's worth noting that while mouthwashes are beneficial, they should never replace regular brushing and flossing.

In addition to oral hygiene practices, it's important to be mindful of what we consume during the winter months. Limiting our intake of sugary foods and drinks can help prevent tooth decay and maintain healthier teeth and gums. Opting for nutritious snacks and staying hydrated can also benefit our overall oral health.

Using Mouthwatchers To Keep Your Teeth Healthy
As we mentioned previously, the mouth can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, especially when we are already fighting off respiratory infections. This can lead to a higher risk of dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Doctor Plotka's Mouth Watchers, a revolutionary oral care product, can help maintain good oral health during the winter months. Our innovative toothbrushes feature antimicrobial bristles that are infused with silver technology. Silver has long been known for its antibacterial properties, making it an effective tool in fighting off harmful bacteria in the mouth.

The unique bristle design of Mouthwatchers toothbrushes also plays a crucial role in enhancing your oral health. The ultra-thin, tapered bristles reach deeper into the areas between teeth and gums, where bacteria often hide and cause damage. This thorough cleaning action helps prevent plaque buildup, reduces the risk of cavities, and promotes healthier gums.

Used regularly as part of our oral hygiene routine can make a significant difference in maintaining good oral health during the winter months. By effectively removing plaque and bacteria, our toothbrushes contribute to a healthier mouth and ultimately support overall well-being.

As the winter months approach, let's remember that prevention is key. Choose the right tools, like Doctor Plotka's Mouth Watchers, and make oral health a top priority. By doing so, we can keep our smiles shining bright and our immune systems strong. Remember, a healthy mouth is a gateway to a healthy body. So, let's take action and ensure our oral health remains in check throughout the season. As the saying goes, "Take care of your teeth and they will take care of you."