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When a cold strikes your body isn’t the only part of you vulnerable to the attack. Your oral health suffers when colds show up. Today, our Rick Jackomis, DDS team in Sterling, Virginia, would like to give you some oral care tips to help your smile navigate a cold this fall and winter season.

Unfortunately, a cold can also bring with it a sinus infection, and you can have a toothache as a result. This happens when the fluid builds up in your largest sinus cavity that rests above the upper jaw, pressing down on the tooth roots. But that’s not all. A cold often results in post nasal drip which is where excess mucus drips into the back of your mouth. This mucus-filled environment feeds bacteria in the mouth, and you end up with unpleasant breath.

Colds can also leave you with a runny nose, sore throat, a cough, and sneezing. Conversely, you can end up with a stuffy nose with is often treated with decongestants and antihistamines. These dry out nasal passages, and cause dry mouth. Your mouth needs to stay hydrated so that saliva can do its job–wash away bacteria and plaque so they don’t attack your teeth and gums.

So, what can you do? First, stay well hydrated. Drink lots of fluids so you can fight the cold and protect your oral cavity. Broths and soups, herbal teas with honey and lemon, water, juices, and ginger ale and even electrolyte-filled sports drinks can help you rehydrate.

Be sure to brush and floss without fail. You still need to rid your mouth of bacteria and plaque even when you are sick and exhausted.

Rinsing with a salt water gargle a few times a day is beneficial in several ways. It kills bacteria and soothes your throat, all while fighting plaque.

While having a cold challenges your oral health, you can still emerge with healthy teeth and gums if you take care of them along the way. If you would like to schedule some time with our dentist, Dr. Rick Jackomis, please call 703-444-9244 today!