Is your oral health affected by the Flu virus?


Is your oral health affected by the Flu virus?

The flu virus not only causes terrible colds, fevers, and body aches but also impacts your dental health. Many people might never have thought that the flu virus also affects their dental health. But a high risk underscores the requirement for excellent oral hygiene when feeling under the weather.


Here are a few oral health issues that get exacerbated when you suffer from flu or cold:

  • Dry mouth: One of the common symptoms that people suffer from all through their flu and cold season is nasal congestion. It is prevalent and the primary thing that will tip people off because of changes in voice or speech patterns. Unfortunately, such types of nasal congestion also affect your oral health.

More congestion blocks your airways, especially sleeping, and more dry mouth. When the nasal passages are blocked, you tend to breathe by your mouth, which causes you to get a dry mouth. When your mouth is dried, there is less secretion of saliva responsible for breaking down your food, and it also cleans all those particles that can lead to serious oral problems such as cavities, gum issues, etc. Also, the medicine you take to fight infections can cause dry mouth.

The medicines you take, like decongestants, painkillers, anti-depressants, and diuretics, can decrease the saliva flow. Saliva is required for washing away food and neutralizing the acids made by mouth bacteria, thereby helping protect you from various microbes that can cause infections.

  • Tooth pain: Tooth pain in itself is a terrible experience. When it is an  add on to  flu or when a cold is present, things get miserable very fast. The flu virus also increases the risk of sinusitis, an infection that puts pressure on sinus cavities just above the back teeth. Many people do not realize that sudden tooth pain might be because of the virus that affects your sinuses. Pain in upper teeth, primarily when it affects more than one tooth, along with some tenderness around the sinuses, is a sign of sinusitis caused by any bacterial infection or cold virus.

Usually, sinusitis is cured by itself, but when you do things to remain healthy, and the symptoms do not resolve, you will have to talk to a doctor and take some antibiotics.

  • Bad breath: As salivation is obstructed during the flu, the oral microbes start thriving on the food debris between your teeth. In the meantime, some extra mucus starts leaking to the back of your throat. Because of these things, a filthy odor starts.


Tips to protect your dental health when you have flu

You can do many things to maintain your teeth in good shape while fighting the flu symptoms.

  • Do not stop taking nasal decongestants so that the airways remain open and decrease the possibility of having a dry mouth. Although medications can cause dry mouth, it is good to avoid the source of the problem as rapidly as possible.
  • Always keep a water bottle near you and take a sip from it regularly. This is very important at night so that you have the remedy when you wake up and feel like there is no moisture in your mouth.
  • Suck some sugar-free cough drops or vitamin tablets that will help produce saliva. Many cold remedies are filled up with sugar as it makes the medicine go down, and it's worth finding such medication with some alternative sweeteners.
  • You can keep a humidifier in your home to enhance the moisture in your room. This has a soothing effect on your dry throat.
  • Keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine; otherwise, bacteria start building up in your teeth.
  • Make sure you replace your toothbrush as soon as you feel better. As it might be having a lot of bacterial fugitives 



Flu season is miserable for many people, but it is vital to remain on top of your situation to stay as healthy as possible. Take proactive steps to guard your teeth when you get any common cold symptoms. If you are concerned about your dental health, look for a good dentist at MyDentalPlan to assist you in getting your gums and teeth back in proper health.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.

  • oral care during viral fever
  • effects of flu fever
  • taking care of oral hygiene