518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
Call 09 834 6359

Being unwell can be tough on your mind, body — and oral health. In this article, we’re going to discuss how illness can affect oral health.

We’ll also explain what you can do to ease the effects of illness on your teeth and mouth.

Let’s find out more about the dental effects of common diseases and health conditions.

1. Vomiting

If you’ve been struck down by a vomiting bug, know that the stomach acid that comes into contact with your teeth can have a damaging effect. It can erode the protective outer coating of the teeth — the enamel. When this happens, your teeth can become more sensitive and prone to decay.

After vomiting, your natural instinct will be to brush your teeth. Don’t do this, as it can result in acid being spread around your mouth and teeth. As an alternative, rinse your mouth out with water or an alcohol-free mouthwash. After 30 minutes, you can go ahead and brush your teeth.

2. Dehydration

Dehydration can occur after vomiting or if you’re taking certain medications for your health condition — for example, decongestants. A dry mouth and lack of saliva can be bad for your teeth. That’s because saliva works hard to keep your mouth pH-neutral and wash away food debris, reducing the risk of decay.

Rehydrate by sipping on plain water frequently. Avoid energy drinks that are high in acid or sugar. If you want to indulge in a sugary drink, sip it through a straw or rinse your mouth out with water afterwards to swill away any acidic remnants.

3. Coughs and colds

Coughs, colds and infections like the flu can create a feeling of pressure around the sinuses. This can feel like you’ve got a toothache and is generally uncomfortable.

To relieve the feelings of pressure, apply a warm compress to your face. If toothache-like symptoms persist once the infection clears, be sure to consult your dentist.

4. Oral health and chronic disease

Some chronic conditions can affect your oral health. These include diabetes, which involves high levels of a sugar called glucose in your blood. This means that the levels of sugar in your saliva can increase too, putting you at greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

People with diabetes can also experience lower levels of saliva, which is another risk factor for tooth decay and gum disease. They are also more vulnerable to mouth infections such as thrush.

Certain medications for a range of long-term conditions can cause a dry mouth as well. If you are living with a chronic health condition that affects your oral health, it’s important to keep up with your regular dental check-ups. This is so your dentist can spot any problems early on and get you the treatment you need sooner rather than later.

Need an appointment? Come and see us!

If you’ve been feeling run-down and are worried about the effect on your oral health, reach out to us here at Opal Dental.

We’re your local dentist in the Te Atatu area, here to give you a friendly welcome and professional service.

We offer regular check-ups and a range of services, including fillings, treatment for gum disease and teeth whitening. Whatever your concern, we’re here with a warm welcome, right in the heart of the Te Atatu Peninsula!

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