Why Do Teeth Hurt When You’re Sick? Exploring the Connection



COVID-19 is primarily known as a respiratory disease, but it has been observed to have an impact on various parts of the body, including the mouth. In this article, we will explore the potential link between dental symptoms and COVID-19, shedding light on the subject and addressing common questions. Join us as we delve into the connection between COVID-19 and teeth discomfort.


SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, enters the body through a receptor called ACE2. Interestingly, the mouth, tongue, and gums have a high concentration of ACE2 receptors. Individuals with poor oral health tend to have a higher number of these receptors, further establishing a connection between COVID-19 and oral health.

A study investigating the relationship between dental health and COVID-19 severity found a close association between the severity of dental disease and the severity of COVID-19. Approximately 75% of individuals with severe dental disease were hospitalized with COVID-19, while none of those without obvious signs of dental disease required hospitalization. However, it is important to note that there is limited research directly linking COVID-19 as a cause of poor dental health.


If you experience dental pain during or after COVID-19, taking 400 milligrams of ibuprofen may be more effective in managing the pain than acetaminophen. Additionally, applying cold compresses (soft washcloths soaked in cool water) to the outside of the cheeks can provide relief. In some cases, individuals with COVID-19 may develop oral infections like oral thrush, which can be treated with antifungal medications prescribed by a doctor.


Is bleeding from the gums a symptom of COVID-19?

Bleeding gums are not commonly listed as a symptom of COVID-19. However, it is important to address bleeding gums, as they can indicate gum disease. It is advisable to consult your dentist, although you may need to wait until you are feeling better before scheduling an appointment.

Does COVID-19 trigger a rash in the mouth?

Rashes in the mouth are not typically reported as a symptom of COVID-19. Although a small number of individuals have reported a full-body rash as part of their symptoms, mouth rashes specifically are not mentioned in the literature. If you experience a rash in the mouth, it is recommended to consult your doctor to explore other possible causes for mouth sores.

Is a white coating on the tongue a symptom of COVID-19?

A white coating on the tongue can have several causes, including oral thrush or candidiasis. While COVID-19 itself does not cause thrush, the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the immune system can make individuals more susceptible to infections like thrush. A doctor can prescribe topical medications or oral medications to address the fungus causing thrush.

Are dentists observing an increase in teeth grinding since the COVID-19 pandemic began?

Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, can be a common side effect of stress. Given the stressful situations created by the pandemic, an increase in bruxism is not surprising. Complications of teeth grinding can include wear on teeth, increased sensitivity, and jaw muscle discomfort. If you are affected by this, it is recommended to consult your doctor for potential treatment options.

Is it safe to visit the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dentists have implemented special precautions to protect against the spread of COVID-19. These measures include using high-volume suction devices, wearing protective face masks and shields, and limiting the duration of procedures. To ensure your safety, it is advisable to inquire about the specific precautions taken by your dentist.

Why do some individuals experience yellow or discolored teeth during COVID-19?

Directly yellow or discolored teeth are not a known occurrence of COVID-19. However, some medications used to treat COVID-19, such as doxycycline, can result in tooth discoloration. If you require medications for COVID-19, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.

Can COVID-19 cause all of your teeth to fall out?

There are no reports of teeth falling out as a direct side effect of COVID-19. However, neglecting dental health during a prolonged illness can lead to tooth decay and potential tooth loss. It is crucial to maintain proper dental hygiene and seek timely dental care, especially during illness.

Can COVID-19 cause jaw or tooth pain?

While jaw or tooth pain is not a specific reported symptom of COVID-19, it is possible to experience such pain due to increased jaw clenching caused by stress related to the pandemic. If you encounter jaw or tooth pain, it is advisable to consult your doctor for appropriate guidance.


Ongoing research is exploring the links between COVID-19 and dental health. As new strains of the virus emerge, they may potentially impact dental health. To maintain your oral health, it is important to communicate with your dentist regarding any concerns you may have. By prioritizing good oral hygiene, you can contribute to overall well-being during these challenging times.

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