Maintaining A Healthy Mouth When Illness Strikes

Don’t let colds and flu be an excuse to neglect your teeth and gums.

Like elsewhere in the country, some residents of Tunbridge Wells are feeling the effects of the aggressive flu strain that seems to be sweeping the UK.

Whilst symptoms associated with flu are at the severe end of the scale, even a heavy cold can wear us down and cause us to neglect ourselves for a period of time.

In today’s Calverley Dental Practice blog, we offer some advice for any of our patients who may be feeling the effects of these illnesses and may be neglecting their teeth and gums because of it.

Teeth cleaning

The last thing you might feel like doing when you are under the weather, is to make the effort to clean your teeth. Depending on whether you have a cold or the flu, you may not even feel like making the effort to eat, let alone stand up and clean your teeth for a few minutes before, exhausted, you fall into bed.

Although we appreciate it may be difficult, and we would probably also feel the same way if it were ourselves, it is important that you don’t neglect this aspect of your daily oral care regimen. Especially when we are ill, the potentially harmful bacteria in our mouths can multiply rapidly, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. However bad you feel, always try to brush your teeth twice a day.


Eating a healthy balanced diet is important to keep up our strength and to help us to fight off illnesses. Getting up and cooking a meal though, is probably unlikely to happen and we are far more likely to reach for sweets and biscuits that offer us some comfort in an effort to reduce our suffering. Although all food residue needs to be removed by diligent cleaning, non sugar foods are generally less harmful than those high in sugar. Try to minimise your comfort eating so that your teeth remain in good health.


Hydration is especially important when we are ill, and even more so in cases of the flu. We can live without food for some time, but without water, it only takes a few days before our bodies struggle to cope. From an oral health point of view, keeping your mouth from becoming dry is important in the fight against gum disease and you will feel all the better for it. Do not make the mistake of trying to stay hydrated using high sugar drinks. Water is better for your mouth and essential for staying hydrated, particularly so during illness.

If you have been through a period of illness and perhaps neglected your teeth and gums as a result, you might benefit from a check up at the Calverley Dental Practice to make sure that all is as it should be. You can call our Tunbridge Wells practice on 01892 543 898.