As summer approaches, the warm weather brings more people outdoors to enjoy leisurely time with their friends and family members. Although summer is the ideal time to enjoy the beautiful weather, it’s also the time of year we see problems with dehydration and heat stroke. These summer health concerns won’t just affect your overall wellness. In fact, dehydration can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums.
Drinking enough water is crucial for the proper function of the body and of course, it is also important for oral health. Staying hydrated wards off problems with dry mouth, which can include bad breath and the increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dental implant provider, Dr. Richard Grubb shares more about the oral health dangers of dehydration and how patients here in Havre de Grace, MD can stay hydrated this summer.
Research tells us that the human body can last up to three weeks without food but only a mere 5-7 days without water. With that being said, it’s easy to see just how important hydration is for our health. With the human body comprised of 65% water, this crucial part of our health will affect the functioning of our body in all aspects. Water is so important because it flows through blood and helps to carry oxygen and nutrients to cells while also helping to flush out wastes in our bodies. Being properly hydrated is also imperative to our ability to digest and absorb nutrients from food.
Dehydration isn’t an issue to be taken lightly. Without the proper response to dehydration, it can quickly become a life-threatening condition. The rule of thumb is eight large glasses of water per day to operate efficiently. More water is needed if an individual is overweight or during times of hot weather, illness or exercise.
It’s important to look for signs of dehydration to address the issue as soon as possible. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, your body has probably already been dehydrated for some time. Some of the warning signs for dehydration include:
Although we can get water through other beverages, your best bet to quenching your thirst and staying hydrated is sticking to plain water. Other drinks like coffee,tea, and alcohol may help add more liquids to your diet but they also have a diuretic effect on the body. This means that your body will expel more water than it is taking in, causing dehydration.
Now that we know how dehydration will affect our bodies as a whole, how does it affect our oral health? The real problem originates from the lack of saliva. A dry mouth will leave your smile susceptible to several problems including:
Bad Breath: Saliva helps wash away bacteria and food particles that cause bad breath. Without enough saliva, bad breath becomes more common.
Tooth Decay: Saliva also helps restore the mouth to the proper pH level. Dehydration and lack of saliva allows for the mouth to remain acidic and wear down the tooth enamel.
Gum Disease: A dry mouth allows for bacterial growth to increase in the mouth. After enough plaque accumulation, your gums will become inflamed. Without proper treatment, this can then develop into periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.
You can prevent dry mouth and dehydration with just a few simple steps:
From all of us here at Family Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry, we hope you have a fun and safe summer! And of course, we’re here to help in the event of any dental needs. Feel free to contact our office to learn more about our dental implant services along with other dental treatments.
Richard V. Grubb
203 S. Washington St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Monday: 8AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 4PM
Thursday: 8AM – 4PM
Saturday: 8AM – 1PM (once a month)