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If I am Sick, Should I Still go to The Dentist?

Flu season is here and many additional illnesses are circulating as well (see our home page for information on COVID-19), leaving many of us feeling less than great. While many of us power through and continue on with our everyday routines, even while feeling under the weather, there are certain instances when you should reschedule planned activities due to illness – like your upcoming dental appointment, leaving you to wonder, “If I am sick, should I still go to the dentist?

Below are some illnesses you may experience and our recommendation on rescheduling or keeping your dental visit:

Stomach Bug

If you have been experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea we highly encourage you to reschedule your dental visit for a later date when you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours. This illness can be contagious, but additionally, patients can experience gag reflex sensitivity during dental cleanings and procedures – meaning if your stomach is upset this may intensify that feeling.

Common Cold

You have the sniffles, a cough, and other common cold symptoms – if possible, plan ahead and reschedule your visit. Again, not only can you be contagious, but if you are feeling congested this might make basic dental cleanings and procedures more uncomfortable if you can’t breathe properly.

Cold Sore

If you have an active cold sore, meaning you are experiencing visual symptoms – definitely reschedule your visit. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (cold sores) are highly contagious – specifically when you are experiencing an outbreak.

When in Doubt – Plan Ahead and Reschedule

We get that it is not always possible to plan ahead and reschedule your dental visit due to illness. However, remember it is always best to err on the side of caution and reschedule your visit for when you are feeling better. Also, remember to help keep your self illness free by always practicing proper handwashing – this is hands down (pun intended) one of the best ways to prevent getting sick!