Every cold and flu season, there seems like there’s always a new bug to catch. We can always rely on one thing staying the same, though: sore throats. When your throat is itchy or burns, performing daily tasks, like brushing your teeth or eating and drinking, can be quite painful. Keeping a clean mouth when you’re sick matters, because more bacteria are present in your mouth and can easily infect your gums while your immune system is weakened. How do you help your body feel better? In this article, Livonia dentist Dr. James Stewart provides some remedies for treating your sore throat.
Treating a Sore Throat
In addition to following classic advice that suggests resting and staying hydrated, try other remedies that can soothe your sore throat. Staying hydrated can only do so much this season when the air is cold and dry. Humidify air around you to avoid more throat irritation. Gargling a saltwater solution of eight ounces of warm water with one teaspoon of salt can also alleviate pain from a sore throat. Warm liquids like tea can relieve throat pain, as can cold, ice-based foods like popsicles.
Maintaining Good Oral Health with a Sore Throat
The mouth contains hundreds of bacteria, and a sore throat will breed even more. Ignoring oral health while you’re ill can be easy, but ensuring your mouth is clean when you have a cold or flu can save you from more problems later. Allowing bacteria to settle and breed on and between your teeth heightens your risk for gum disease. Your gums could swell, bleed, and become tender, causing more pain than your sore throat. If brushing or gurgling with mouthwash irritates your throat too much, rinse your mouth with water to cleanse your oral cavity of excess bacteria. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on a lozenge can both freshen your breath (which will probably be unpleasant when you’re sick) and promote saliva production to lubricate and soothe your sore throat.
Remember to toss your tooth brush after you recover. A bacteria-harboring toothbrush could cause recontamination.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Livonia Dentist
If you’re recovering from a sore throat, come see your Livonia dentist, Dr. Stewart. A routine cleaning can clear your mouth of bacteria left over from your illness. Call (734) 425-4400 to make an appointment at our 48154 dentist office. We welcome patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.