Illness and dental health

illness and dental healthWhen we’re not feeling 100% it can be a pretty miserable time, and we naturally tend to tackle the visible symptoms of whatever ails us. Many people don’t realise that when you’re fighting a nasty bug, there can be hidden implications that can put your teeth in harm’s way. Here at CK Dental in Bristol we’ve prepared a quick rundown of what to look out for when you’re not feeling very well.

Sickness bugs and dental health

If you’ve succumbed to the winter vomiting bug (norovirus) or have picked up a nasty bout of food poisoning, your teeth won’t be your main concern… but they are right in the firing line.

Each time you are sick, potent stomach acid passes through your mouth and can damage tooth enamel. If tooth enamel becomes damaged it can cause teeth to become sensitive, become discoloured or become more likely to become damaged.

The first thing you’ll want to do once you’ve been sick is to brush your teeth, but this is not recommended straight away. Washing and swilling your mouth with fresh water first is the best course of action, then you can brush as normal after 30 mins or so. However, if this is not practical, if the sickness strikes in the middle of the night (for example) then brushing your teeth is a better option than not.

Chesty coughs, tickles and sore throats and tooth decay

If you’re feeling pained by a persistent cough or have a sore throat, there are a plethora of cough syrups available that you’ll no doubt work your way through until you find something to ease the discomfort. While they might ease one problem, the sugar content in a lot of cough medicines is eye-wateringly high and can put your teeth at risk of developing cavities or decay. There are often sugar-free alternatives available, and although they may not taste quite so good, they’re a lot better for your oral health.

Dehydration and dental bacteria

If you’re feeling really groggy, the chances are you’ll not be eating and drinking enough. If you’re suffering with sickness and/or diarrhoea, then there is a good chance that you’re probably getting dehydrated. This can be serious for many different reasons, including the repercussions it can have on your teeth.

If you’re dehydrated then your mouth won’t be able to produce enough saliva, which helps keep the pH balance in your mouth at the correct levels. Salvia is also your mouth’s natural way of keeping bacteria at bay. Even if you don’t really feel up to drinking, keep sipping water as it will do your body no end of good.