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Our Aria Irvani DDS team in Foothill Ranch, California, would like to share some ways you can keep your smile in check during cold and flu season. You see, these illnesses tend to make you feel bad all over, but they are especially stressful for your oral health.

A sinus infection can arise from either a cold or flu from bacteria. And having a sinus infection can give you a toothache! This is because the biggest sinus cavity sits on top of your upper jaw, so when fluid builds up it can press down on tooth roots.

Post nasal drip from excess mucus entering the back of the mouth can leave you with bad breath, thanks to the bacterial rich environment created from mucus.

Having a cold can leave you with a runny nose, sore throat, coughing and sneezing. A stuffy nose will have you breathing from your mouth, and you end up with dry mouth. Using antihistamines and decongestants to combat the stuffiness also dries out your mouth. Dry mouth is harmful to teeth and gums because healthy saliva levels are needed to wash away oral bacteria and plaque.

To prevent dry mouth, drink plenty of fluids to help you fight the infection. Soups and broths, herbal teas laced with honey and lemon can soothe the throat as well, lots of water, fruit juices, and even ginger ale can help.

When you are fighting a cold or flu, keep brushing and flossing every day no matter how exhausted you are from your illness. Strive to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Floss every day too, because cavities and gingivitis (gum disease) don’t stay away because you are sick. Conversely, the bacterial build-up tends to worsen, increasing fuel for plaque.

To soothe your throat and lessen bacteria in the mouth and throat, you can gargle with salt water in warm water a few times a day. Saltwater rinses also fight against bad breath and plaque in the mouth. Just gargle and spit and you are good to go.

After an illness, you can trade your toothbrush for a new one to avoid bacterial reinfection. Keep your smile during cold and flu season, and your oral health will thank you. If you would like to learn more about your oral health, you can give us a call 949-458-5858. Our dentist, Dr. Aria Irvani along with the rest of our team are here for you!