Did you know that up to 20% of Americans contract the flu yearly, according to the National Institutes of Health. In addition to causing fever, chills, and achy muscles, the flu can lead to serious complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, and even death.
Many Americans experience tooth pain or gum discomfort when they have a cold, in addition to the suffering of continual coughing, sneezing, and nighttime congestion. This is because the mucus associated with colds can cause irritation and inflammation in the gums, leading to pain.
Learning when you have to see a dentist or doctor for these problems can save you time, money, and pain. When you have a cold, tooth pain or gum discomfort isn’t serious most of the time. Even persistent or severe toothaches might indicate more serious issues, like a sinus or ear infection.
Other things to consider include:
- tooth sensitivity or gum sensitivity
- discomfort when you’ve got a stuffy nose
Causes of Tooth Pain During Cold & Flu
If you are experiencing tooth pain due to cold and flu, these are some reasons why it may be happening:
When you have a cold, your sinuses (the air-filled cavities in your forehead, cheekbones, and behind your nose) become inflamed and produce excess mucus. Because you have sinus cavities near your upper molars, this pressure might cause your teeth to hurt. Use a warm, moist towel around your nose, cheeks, and eyes to relieve discomfort.
An ear infection, or otitis media, is an inflammation of the middle ear that often occurs after a cold. It can cause severe tooth pain because your molars are located next to your middle ear. If you’re experiencing sharp pain or pressure in your ears, in addition to tooth pain, see a doctor as soon as possible.
When you have a cold, your body produces more histamine, a chemical that helps fight off infection but that also causes inflammation. Inflammation can lead to increased sensitivity in the teeth and gums and pain in the tooth nerve.
Colds can cause a decrease in saliva production, which can lead to a condition called xerostomia or dry mouth. A lack of saliva can allow bacteria to grow unchecked, leading to an increase in cavities and gum disease. It can also exacerbate existing conditions, like gingivitis.
Relief For Tooth Pain
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from colds each year, there are a few things you can do to ease your tooth pain and gum discomfort.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water. This will help to soothe your gums and remove any irritation-causing mucus.
- Brush your teeth gently. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritating your gums.
- Use dental floss designed for sensitive gums. This type of floss is gentler on inflamed gums.
- Rinse with a mouthwash designed for sensitive mouths. These mouthwashes can help to reduce gum inflammation and pain.
- See your dentist if your tooth pain or gum discomfort persists. You may need a professional cleaning or other treatment to ease your discomfort.
If the tooth pain persists, you should consult our Monroe NC dentist, Dr. Khalil Mjahed. He will be able to help you get relief from your tooth pain. For more information or to book an appointment, please call us today.
Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC
Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.
These are just some of the services we provide. To learn more about our dental practice in Monroe NC and the services we provide, call us or submit an appointment request.