One symptom you may have noticed but not really thought about when you have a cold is tooth and mouth pain. In addition to the typical symptoms—headache, fever, nausea, running nose—you may experience tooth pain or general mouth pain. Though it seems odd, it’s not something to be alarmed about.

It’s pretty normal to have tooth pain while you’re sick and it’s for pretty simple reasons.

There’s a lot of things that happen when you’re sick and a lot of systems in your body that are affected. Symptoms that you have many in fact cause other issues and complications and that’s part of what causes your teeth and mouth to hurt during a bout of illness.

Below are some of the more common reasons your teeth and mouth may hurt as a result of a cold or other illness.

Sinus Pressure

The most common cause of tooth pain when your sick is going to be because of sinus pressure. Even before you know you’re sick, your sinus cavities will fill with excess fluid as a result of a virus in your system. This causes pressure to build up in your sinus cavities. These cavities are located very close to your upper molars and the roof of your mouth so pressure coming down can cause pain in your mouth.

Dry Mouth

A common side effect of colds and illnesses, dry mouth, is also a leading cause in tooth and mouth pain during an illness. You may have nasal congestion which means that you may be breathing through your mouth quite a bit. The result is a dry mouth which dehydrates your teeth, gum, and lips, causing them to become sensitive.


It’s possible your sinus pressure may turn into a full-blown sinus infection. This causes more severe pain in your upper molars. This can also be caused by an ear infection or other infection of the ear or throat canal. It ultimately comes back to pressure and inflammation in those areas as a result of infection.

Related Questions

What Can I Do?

You can help relieve some sinus pressure with warm compresses on your face and warm steam. Pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve the symptoms. If you’ve got dry mouth, then keeping your mouth hydrated is the most important thing to do.

How Do I Know Something Else Isn’t the Cause?

If your tooth pain persists after the illness is over or seems more painful than it should, you’ll want to visit your family dentist to see if it’s not part of a larger and more serious issue.

Tooth pain can be alarming and miserable, but it doesn’t have to be mysterious. And always be ready to call your dentist with questions and concerns.

Your questions and concerns are important to us at Sedki Dentistry and we are committed to helping each patient maintain a healthy mouth for life. Our Commerce Dental Clinic is full-service offering dental treatments for tooth restoration, cosmetic dentistry such as dental veneers and braces, children’s dentistry and much more! Call today for a dental checkup!