It might be weird to think that when we’re nauseated, we also have to think about our oral health. It’s no secret that when we’re ill or pregnant, the last thing you’re thinking about is oral hygiene. However, you should pay more attention to yourmouth than usual when you’re experiencing nausea. When our immune system is compromised,we may be more predisposed to having impaired oral health.
Fighting a Cold or Flu
Here are a few things to keep in mindwhen nausea and oral health working together.
- Drink water constantly. Saliva is what protects our mouths against harmful microorganisms. In general, medications to relieve symptoms of the flu or cold usually dry out the mouth. Drinking lots of water will keep you hydrated and helpyou avoid a dry mouth. A dry mouth creates an ecosystem suitable for the accumulation of bacteria, causing salivation to decrease. The reduction in saliva secretion also causes bad breath and can make swallowing food difficult. Try to drink a minimum of two litersof water throughout the day.
2. Avoid sugary products. Many doctors prescribe pills and cough syrups without considering that the vast majority of them contain a high proportion of sugar. Talk to your doctor about this concern. There is alternative medication without sugars, as well as cough drops with natural sweeteners. Sugars are harmful to your teeth and oral health. If you can’t avoid them, we recommend rinsing your mouth immediately after ingesting a sugary syrup.3. Brush your teeth frequently.Nausea and oral hygiene go hand-in-hand, especially during periods of illness. Take preventive measures and brush your teeth at least three times a day for two minutes. Then leave the brush uncovered so that it can dry completely. Thisis so the bacteria doesn’t get a chance to grow and produce more germs. It’s also important to use a toothpaste with antibacterial properties and floss thoroughly, especially to clean the space between every tooth. When your cold or flu has ended, it’s probably best to replace your toothbrush altogether.
Pregnancy Nausea and Oral Health
Hormonal fluctuations can make gums more sensitive. That, coupled with nausea, can make it difficult to maintain proper oral health. Vomit is acidic by nature. This acid can cause erosion to the tooth enamel and create sores in the mouth.
Nausea and oral health are both necessaryto understand. Maintaining proper hygiene prevents periodontal diseases which pose a risk for pregnancy. It’s extra trickybecause sometimes just the scent of toothpaste can cause nausea, or the foam of the paste in the mouth can cause nausea and vomiting.
People with bulimia often suffer the same problems when it comes to nausea and oral health. Just like pregnant women, people with bulimia will suffer the same fate if they don’t take care of their mouth regularly, and especially after vomiting. Here are some things you can do toreduce nausea and take care of your mouth at the same time.
- Brush your teeth with a paste containing fluorideand use dental floss any timeof the day that you’re feeling better. Don’t rinse after brushing.
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting becausestomach acid softens tooth enamel and you don’t want your toothbrush scrubbing against weakened enamel. Instead, rinse the mouth with a fluoride rinse or with water. Wait at least 20 minutes between vomiting and brushing your teeth, so that the enamelwill harden again.
- Use a toothpaste and a rinse that are unscented or flavorless. There are some neutral, non-foaming agents available, although you may need to try a few kinds before finding the best one for you.
- If you can’t tolerate any toothpaste at all, you can try to brush without paste, which would at least reduce plaque buildup. If it is the brush that bothers you, you can try rubbing your teeth with gauze or your finger, perhaps with a little paste.
- As for toothbrushes, it is advisable to use a brush of medium hardness with a head that is not too large. Many times, the large size of the brush can cause nausea if it is insertedtoo far.
- You may need to use an electric brush to see if you can better tolerate that. Sometimes the strongand fast vibrations of a rechargeable electric toothbrush can increase nausea, however.
- If you start by cleaning the posterior teeth, the contact of the toothpaste on your taste buds (which potentially causes vomiting) is delayed.
See your doctor or call us today at 317-745-4400 if you need more alternatives. Our family wants to keep your family healthy for many years to come.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.