Like a toothache, a sore throat can be debilitating and may indicate a number of various illnesses, including a common cold, tonsillitis, and strep throat, among others. While viruses are the more common cause of throat soreness, bacteria can also be the culprit. For instance, true to its name, strep throat is an infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria; the same type of bacteria that causes tooth decay (Streptococcus mutans). Until your sore throat is diagnosed, you may not know exactly what the cause is, although additional symptoms may offer more distinctive clues. For relief in the meantime, Encinitas periodontist Dr. Ann Kania offers these tips to ease your sore throat at home.
Home Remedies for a Sore Throat
- Quench your thirst, a lot—Regardless of the malady causing your discomfort, dryness is never a good thing for your throat or oral cavity. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to prevent dehydration. Sleep plenty, and rest your voice to avoid further irritating your throat tissue.
- Comfort food—Chicken soup is a classic get-well treat, and for good reason. When your throat is sore, the warm broth helps soothe discomfort while providing much-needed sustenance. Alternately, cold treats such as popsicles can also help ease a sore throat.
- Cough drops—Unless you made the cough drops in your kitchen, they are not technically a home remedy, but they’re made for quick and easy sore throat relief, and deserve a mention. Dr. Kania cautions, however, that cough drops contain a wealth of sugar and can increase your risk of cavities. Drink water while the lozenge is in your mouth to help neutralize the acid oral bacteria produces after eating sugar.
- Don’t Smoke—Tobacco and tobacco smoke are irritants that can significantly exacerbate your sore throat, not to mention threaten your oral and physical health. You should also steer clear of cleaning products that smell heavily. The chemicals can also increase your discomfort.
Seek Treatment as Soon as Possible
In some cases, a sore throat can indicate something more serious than a mere cold. Lesions and other irregularities that often occur during systemic illnesses, including the beginning of oral cancer, can cause discomfort throughout your oral cavity and throat regions. If you don’t recover after 2 weeks from your illness, it is advised that you seek medical care. To learn more, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.