Can a virus make your teeth hurt? Our body is a completely wired situation with all parts connected to each other and although we might not realize different parts affect the well-being of other parts as well due to proximity or other reasons.
A virus attack already disrupts the functioning of your body but if it gets accompanied by another problem it becomes very acute. So, let’s understand the effect of the virus on our mouth and how it affects our teeth.
1. How Colds Can Cause Tooth Pain?
When you are suffering from a cold, you are feeling sick and there is congestion in your sinuses in your head, it causes acute tooth pain.
This puts a lot of pressure on your upper jaw leading to pain in your upper teeth. Your sinus tissues are highly impacted by cold and cough, and the accompanying symptoms like allergies, congestion, and infections make it worse.
The teeth because they are under pressure might even slide off from their position due to swelling in cavities and cause misalignment in your teeth when you are biting or chewing something.
1.1. Sinus Pressure
Sinus cavities are present in various parts of the body and you can have pain in any one or even all of them anytime.
Usually, sinus pain is perpetual in the background like something dull but when accompanied by an abscessed tooth, the discomfort increases because the intensity of pain increases.
If the sinus infection is very acute then it can even cause the movement of your tooth from its place although just a little bit, but enough to change your bite.
Similarly, an abscessed tooth can also lead to an infection in the sinus cavity which might become very painful and tricky to handle.
1.2. Dry Mouth
If you have a cold it is highly likely that you will have nasal congestion, which makes breathing through the nose really difficult, and in such a case you breathe through your mouth.
Breathing from the mouth basically leads to a dry mouth along with dry lips, gums, and teeth.
If you have a dry mouth it means that the saliva flow is less and so is the production which can also be attributed to some of the medications which we take to treat our cold.
Since saliva is basically a defense system for the mouth as it guards everything you eat or drink, having a reduced amount of saliva will encourage the growth of bacterial infection in and around your teeth, which in turn leads to tooth decay and gum infections/diseases.
You are already sick, you are having a problem breathing and sleeping to add to that, due to a dry mouth it becomes difficult to chew and swallow. So, now eating food is a problem, so how will you get nutrients to treat yourself?
1.3. Sore Throat
Due to their proximity in the mouth, your jaw and your throat actually do affect each other. You tend to develop a sore throat when you have a cold, symptoms of which include coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.
Now if you have an infected tooth and specifically the wisdom tooth which is at the back of your mouth that could lead to pain in your lymph nodes due to swelling, this is synonymous with the pain you would have during sinusitis.
The difference is that when the pain originates from your throat towards your teeth it also gives you swelling in the face and jaw, a bad taste in your mouth, and acute pain while you chew anything.
1.4. Bad Breath
Sometimes we experience a bad breath when we’re having a cold, the reason for that is postnasal drip. Let’s understand what is postnasal drip.
The excess mucus that leaks back into your mouth and throat is called postnasal drip.
It causes colds, allergies, and bacterial infections. This is because the mucus leak creates an environment that supports the growth of bacteria, which gives odor.
2. How is the Pain from Tooth Decay and Sinus Both Different?
The pain that is caused by an infected tooth is pulsating, very acute, and throbbing and does not decrease over time and the point of origin can be very easily determined as that tooth would be having redness and swelling all around it.
However, the pain resulting from sinus pressure or inflammation of the sinus is more like a spread-out pain, it does not create a very painful situation and you can eat and drink even with the pain.
Also, this pain does lessen with time, because as the swelling in the sinus decreases, the congestion reduces and so does the pain.
3. Keep Brushing and Flossing When You’re Sick
Even when you are sick and feeling very groggy, your oral health should not be compromised, indeed other than regular days, it is more important to maintain your teeth hygiene when you’re ill, if not done then you may end up having plaque in your teeth which can lead to gingivitis and even tooth decay.
This will indirectly affect your recovery from your illness also because the body’s immune response is not focused as it has to deal with the bacteria growing in your mouth also.
Although if you’re very sick and even movement is an issue then use an anti-bacterial mouthwash or rinse to keep your mouth as clean as you can.
4. Final Thoughts
Having a cold not just affects your breathing system but quite literally your whole body including your teeth. A primary reason behind tooth pain is sinus inflammation.
The maxillary sinus is just above the molars in the mouth, and anything affecting the sinuses affects the teeth.
Sinuses get affected when you have a cold due to pressure as explained above, which is why coughing or sneezing accentuates the pain. So, a virus can make our teeth hurt.