Being dehydrated means your body has lost more water than you have taken in. It often occurs when you are very active or when you are out in the heat. Both situations typically result in sweating a lot, which is how the body loses so much water. If you do not take breaks to regularly drink water, dehydration can even occur in your home or at work. This can lead to several health issues, including several oral health dangers.
Dehydration Decreases Saliva
One of the first symptoms of dehydration is dry mouth. This lack of saliva in the mouth can damage your oral health because you no longer have a way of washing away food debris or bacteria. Your saliva helps keep your teeth and gums clean. Bacteria and food particles get caught up in the saliva and washed down the throat. Without much moisture in the mouth, the bacteria are able to cling to your teeth and absorb nutrients from the food debris. It then creates acid that eats into the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities. The bacteria on the gums can cause gum disease. If you suffer from chronic dehydration, your overall oral health will degrade over time.
It Affects Your Breath, Too
Bad breath is another sign of dehydration, again due to the lack of saliva. Without saliva to wash bacteria off the tongue, gums, and other parts of the mouth, it will begin to build up. This build-up and the large amount of acids created by the bacteria release an unpleasant odor.
Dealing with Dehydration
The main way of dealing with dehydration is to make sure you drink a good amount of water every day. While juice, tea, and other beverages do contain water, they also contain other things that can make it difficult to retain moisture. Water is always the best option. If you believe you suffer from dehydration, you should also mention it to us when you come in for your checkup so we can look for signs of damage. We can also help you deal with dry mouth, so give us a call if you are experiencing that as well.
Our Dental Blog | Smiles of Tulsa - Dentist in Tulsa, OK Corbyn VanBrunt, DDS has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Click here to learn more about home care, procedures and more! Smiles of Tulsa, 6565 S. Yale Ave., Ste. 1103, Tulsa, OK 74136 | (918) 891-3059 | smilesoftulsa.com | 9/16/2023 | Key Phrases: dentist |