Colder weather brings with it a number of ailments that are generally more prevalent now than at other times of the year. One of the most common types of sickness during the cold months is a sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by a virus that causes pain and inflammation of the throat’s tissue. While most sore throats are not serious medical problems, they can cause extreme discomfort for those unfortunate enough to have one. Your West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, gives several suggestions for how to relieve the pain and suffering a sore throat can bring, and what to do if you have a dental appointment coming, and you feel a sore throat coming on.
A saltwater gargle is a classic home remedy that can temporarily numb the pain. Mix one teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water. Be sure to mix the salt thoroughly in the water, and then gargle. Be sure not to swallow the salt water, but spit it out after you’re done. Other warm liquids can also be used to sooth the pain. Try caffeine-free tea, plain broth, or warm water with honey. It is important to keep hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of water during the duration of the illness.
Dry air is one of the leading culprits of sore throat irritation, so try to humidify the air in your house. If a humidifier is not available, try breathing the air in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes.
Throat lozenges often contain numbing medicine that can sooth the throat at least temporarily. There are many popular and effective over-the-counter remedies available. Because lozenges can pose a choking hazard, they should not be given to children under four. Take other OTC medicines for pain or fever, but be sure to read the label carefully before taking anything.
Irritants and Rest
Try to avoid potential irritants that could make your throat worse. Air pollution is a major factor in many people’s throat irritation. So are tobacco products. Avoid both if at all possible. Speaking can also be a major irritant on a sore throat. Try not to use your voice at all, and when necessary, try to speak no louder than a whisper.
Unfortunately, the best remedy for a sore throat is simply time and rest. Get plenty of sleep and try to limit your physical activity until you are back in good health.
Talk to Your West Des Moines Dentist
If you have any concerns about your sore throat, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Once the sore throat has run its course, it may be time to schedule an appointment with us at Valley Ridge Family Dental. If you have an appointent already scheduled, but are feeling ill in any way, give us a call to discuss whether or not rescheduling would be prudent. Also, if you suspect your illness has effected your oral health, contact our 50266 family dental office by calling (515) 223-9764 to schedule an appointment today. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Urbandale, and the surrounding Des Moines metro communities.