Dental check-up for toothache and viral infections. Dental check-up for toothache and viral infections.

Can a Virus Make Your Teeth Hurt? I Finally Got the Answer

You know in my childhood, when my teeth used to pain a lot; I always got scolded for eating too much sweets. But, slowly I realized that whenever I suffer from a cold, my tooth pain is more acute. I often asked my parents if it was because of the cold. And they ignorantly used to tell me how can a virus cause your tooth to hurt. Okay maybe!

But, luckily now one of my friends is a health expert. She told me that our body is a completely wired situation with all parts connected. Although we might not realize different parts affect the well-being of other parts as well due to proximity or other reasons.

She says that a virus attack already disrupts the functioning of your body but if it gets accompanied by another problem it becomes very acute. Thanks to her, now I know the real reason behind it. Being one of my childhood curiosities, I discussed this issue with her in detail. And now I feel, I must share this piece of information with you guys too.

So, let’s understand the effect of the virus on our mouth and how it affects our teeth.

Yes, Colds Can Cause Tooth Pain

Actually, when we are suffering from a cold, feeling sick and there is congestion or sinuses in our head, it causes acute tooth pain.

Can a Virus Make Your Teeth Hurt?
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This puts a lot of pressure on our upper jaw leading to pain in the upper teeth. Our sinus tissues are highly impacted by colds and coughs. 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. So, there could be many reasons that cause tooth pain while we are infected with a cold.

1. Sinus Pressure

I was surprised to know that 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.

Can a Virus Make Your Teeth Hurt?
Source- Pixabay

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.

2. Dry Mouth

If we have a cold, we will likely have nasal congestion, which makes breathing through the nose really difficult. In such a case I used to breathe through my mouth and never thought of the consequences.

You know, breathing from the mouth basically leads to a dry mouth along with dry lips, gums, and teeth. If we 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.

Saliva is a defense system for the mouth. It guards everything you eat or drink. having a reduced amount of saliva encourages the growth of bacterial infection in and around our teeth, which in turn leads to tooth decay and gum infections/diseases.

3. Sore Throat

Due to their proximity in the mouth, our jaw and throat do affect each other. You must have noticed that we tend to develop a sore throat when we have a cold, symptoms of which include coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.

Now if we have an infected tooth, specifically the wisdom tooth which is at the back of your mouth that could lead to pain in our lymph nodes due to swelling. This is synonymous with the pain we would have during sinusitis.

Can a Virus Make Your Teeth Hurt?
Source- Pixabay

The difference is that when the pain originates from our throat towards our teeth. It also gives us swelling in the face and jaw, a bad taste in the mouth, and acute pain while we chew anything.

4. Bad Breath

Sometimes we experience bad breath when we have a cold. I never knew the reason for that, but surprisingly it’s postnasal drip. However, now I know what it is. The excess mucus that leaks back into our 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.

The Pain from Tooth Decay and Sinus Are 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.

What can you do for a severe toothache? (At Home)

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. But, the problem occurs, when you already have tooth decay and you catch a cold.

Today’s Tip- Keep Brushing and Flossing When You’re Sick

She gave me this advice and this really works. So, 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 our teeth hygiene when we’re ill. If not done then we may end up having plaque in our teeth which can lead to gingivitis and even tooth decay.

This will indirectly affect the recovery from illness. As the body’s immune response is not focused as it has to deal with the bacteria growing in our 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.

Having a cold not just affects your breathing system but quite literally our whole body including our 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 we have a cold due to pressure as I explained above, which is why coughing or sneezing accentuates the pain.

However, the moral of the story is that we should always be ready to grasp any useful information we get from our surroundings. Otherwise, how would I have known that a virus can also cause tooth hurt?


Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by Pragya


Anushree Khandelwal
  1. This article is very helpful. All the precautions you described are obliging.
    Maintaining general health and practising proper oral hygiene can help lower the likelihood of dental problems and lessen the severity of dental discomfort. Proper visit to dentist also lessen the chances of tooth problems.

  2. Oral health is very important aspect in the whole human body and it is one of the major delicate part of the human body as explained above in the article if the tooth are already deceased and if any inverse effect takes place then the effect is very intense it may eventually cause the tooth cancer also as far as mine knowledge , and the above article is also helpful for taking a good care of oral health and how we should take steps in improvement of oral health .

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