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Oral health includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist twice a year for regular checkups. These steps help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Illnesses like the flu and common cold affect your oral health. If you have a fever, for instance, your mouth is more susceptible to infection. While the common cold typically doesn’t affect your oral health, the flu does. It can also weaken your immune system, which makes it harder to fight infections.
Some medications, like those for high blood pressure or thyroid conditions, can cause dry mouth. Saliva is an important natural defense against tooth decay. If you don’t produce enough saliva, your teeth are more likely to develop cavities.