Markham Dental Smiles
4630 Hwy 7 #2 Unionville ON L3R 1M5 (905) 477-6453

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Exciting news – We're happily accepting new patients!

Unionville, ON
(905) 477-6453

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Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I’m Sick?

When you’re under the weather, you may notice some dental pain alongside your other symptoms. It may surprise you to learn that there is a connection between your overall health and dental health

When you’re sick, your body can experience various symptoms, leading to tooth sensitivity and pain. Sinus pain, dry mouth, medication, and more can make your teeth hurt when you’re sick. Depending on the type of illness you have, there can be a range of causes and prevention techniques to help. Even when you’re too sick to get out of bed, making time for brushing and flossing can help improve your oral health.

Can Sickness Cause Tooth Pain?

Developing a stuffy nose, congestion, a sore throat, or body aches may seem unrelated to your teeth, but these common viral symptoms can affect the rest of your body. Cold and flu complications from sinusitis to dry mouth and more can cause discomfort in your teeth. You can improve your symptoms and tooth pain by safeguarding your dental health, even while you’re sick.

Sinus Infections

One of the most common causes of dental pain during illness is sinusitis. There’s a direct line from your sinuses to your teeth, and when your sinuses become inflamed or infected, pressure can build up and affect the nerves in your teeth, causing pain in the upper teeth and jaw.

Other common symptoms of sinus infections include:

  • Head congestion
  • Cough
  • Thick mucus
  • Pressure around your eyes and nose
  • Bad smelling breath

If you suspect your dental pain is related to sinusitis, you may want to consult your doctor to relieve your sinus infection and alleviate the pressure on your teeth.

Dry Mouth

When you’re sick and congested, breathing naturally through your nose can be impossible. As a result, you need to breathe through your mouth. This can happen during the day or at night and causes dry mouth.

When you’re breathing through your mouth, it affects your saliva production. Dry mouth is linked to tooth decay because decreased saliva production means there’s nothing to wash away bacteria and acids that settle on the teeth.

When your mouth is dry, your teeth can become more sensitive, leading to discomfort. To combat dry mouth:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use a humidifier
  • Suck on ice cubes
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and salt
  • Chew sugarless gum, sugarless hard candy, or throat lozenges
  • Use toothpaste, rinses, and mints


Many medications used to treat illnesses can also cause dental pain. Overusing decongestants and antihistamines can contribute to dry mouth symptoms by reducing saliva production.

If you’re experiencing dental pain while taking medication, consult with your dentist to discuss alternative treatments available.

How to Prevent Toothaches When You’re Sick

When you’re sick, your dental health is sometimes the last thing on your mind, but failing to take proper care of your teeth when you’re sick can lead to toothaches and other dental problems. Knowing how to prevent toothaches when you’re sick is important to prevent mouth-related health problems.

Brush & Floss Regularly

When you’re sick, it’s essential to maintain your regular dental hygiene routine. Brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day to remove bacteria and food particles from your teeth and gums.

If you’re not feeling too well, a soft-bristled toothbrush may be more comfortable for your sore mouth.

Gargle with Saltwater

Saltwater can be an effective natural remedy for sore throats from colds, flu, or strep throat, but it’s also a simple method to protect your mouth from tooth decay and gum disease. Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe inflamed gums, reduce harmful bacterial growth, and alleviate pain.

To use this remedy, mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds. You can swish the mixture around your mouth to reap the dental hygiene benefits. Spit the solution out after gargling.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re sick, it’s easy to become dehydrated. However, dehydration can lead to a dry mouth. Make sure you drink plenty of water, and if you’re feeling too sick to drink, suck on ice cubes or eat ice chips to keep your mouth moist.

Broth, herbal tea, juices, and smoothies can also help ease a sore throat and defeat dry mouth while providing essential vitamins and minerals needed to combat a virus.

Avoid Sugary or Acidic Foods & Drinks

Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can promote the growth of bacteria and increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. When you’re sick, avoid or limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks, such as soda, candy, and coffee.

Visit Your Dentist

If you’re experiencing persistent toothaches or other dental problems, it’s essential to visit your dentist promptly. Your dentist can examine your teeth and gums, diagnose dental problems, and recommend appropriate treatment.

Don’t ignore dental pain or discomfort while sick; it can worsen your illness and increase your risk of complications.

A close-up of a woman smiling while her dentist applies a dental bib

Keep Teeth Healthy as You Fight Sickness

Being sick is miserable enough without adding tooth pain to the list of symptoms. Whether you’re experiencing sinus pressure, dry mouth, or medication-related dental issues, consulting with a dental expert to address the issue will benefit you. Book an appointment at Markham Dental Smiles for a dental exam and cleaning so that when you catch a cold, your oral health is supported.

By staying proactive about your dental health during illness, you can help maintain a healthy and pain-free smile year-round.

Visit Our Location

We would love to meet you at our Unionville office. We’re located on Highway 7, right next to the Shopper’s Drug Mart.


Markham Dental Smiles
4630 Hwy 7 #2
Unionville, ON, L3R 1M5

Contact Number

Phone: (905) 477-6453
Email: [email protected]


Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM - 2:30PM
Friday: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: Closed