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Why Do Teeth Hurt When You’re Sick? 

added on: December 20, 2022

Tobin Dental CareCold and flu season usually spikes between December and February, which means we are just entering peak season for these illnesses. Along with the typical symptoms of fever, cough, and body aches, there can occasionally be signs that affect oral health, too. Thankfully, your dentist in Garden City is here to ease your concerns about why your teeth may hurt when you’re sick. 

Tooth Pain May Not Equate to an Oral Health Problem 

Your dentist in Garden City will usually say that any tooth pain is typically a sign of an oral health problem and that you should schedule a visit sooner rather than later. While that may be true most of the time, there are some exceptions, especially when you’re sick. You see, when you have the flu or a cold and have pain in multiple teeth, the discomfort may actually be a side effect of the illness itself rather than a problem with the teeth. How does this happen? Well, it comes back to anatomy and how close our teeth are to other areas of the body. 

Sinusitis & Tooth Pain

Tooth pain that comes along with an illness may be a side effect of something called acute sinusitis. Acute sinusitis is when the spaces in your nose become inflamed or swollen. While this can happen for any number of reasons, it’s most commonly a result of the common cold or the flu. Pressure in these areas can cause pain in the top back teeth. Other symptoms of sinusitis include: 

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Ear pressure
  • Bad breath
  • Green or yellow mucus
  • Fever

Dry Mouth

One of the most common ailments that go along with any cold or the flu is congestion, which is particularly concerning for your dentist in Garden City. The discomfort of not being able to breathe through your nose goes further than simply being annoying. When we can’t breathe out of our noses, we need to breathe out of our mouths. Mouth breathing can cause an uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth. But dry mouth is more concerning than simply being uncomfortable. Dry mouth has been linked to oral health problems such as decay, tooth sensitivity, and infections. 

However, mouth breathing isn’t the only thing that can cause dry mouth. In fact, many medications can also dry out saliva production and create an arid environment. When there isn’t enough saliva, bacteria can flourish and lead to the formation of gum disease. 

To help counteract dry mouth, make sure to drink plenty of water, especially when you’re sick. Not only can water help you stay hydrated, but it can also help protect teeth against dangerous bacteria and germs. 

Anytime your teeth hurt can certainly be concerning. However, if your tooth pain comes along with feeling sick, it may not be necessary to see a dentist as long as you are drinking plenty of water and use sugar-free medicine whenever possible. Now, if tooth pain persists after you feel better, consider scheduling a checkup with your dentist in Garden City to evaluate your teeth and overall oral health. 

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