Most people know to brush and floss their teeth every day, along with visiting their dentist regularly, to preserve their smile. But did you know that drinking water is equally important for your dental health? Not only does it keep you hydrated during the summer heat, but it also protects your teeth in the long run. Keep reading from your dentist in Columbia to learn the subtle signs of dehydration, how it affects your oral health, and ways to avoid it in the future!
How Does Dehydration Affect Your Oral Health?
Other than causing heat cramps, exhaustion, and urinary/kidney issues, dehydration can also negatively impact your smile. This is due to a lowered or lack of saliva production, which is crucial for naturally washing away debris and bacteria from your mouth. Your saliva is also important for bathing your teeth with calcium, fluoride, and phosphate—essential minerals that help strengthen your pearly whites. If you’re dehydrated, then you run the risk of decreasing your saliva flow and being more vulnerable to dry mouth and oral infections.
What Are the Signs of Dehydration?
While being thirsty is a typical sign, it isn’t the only or most reliable indicator of dehydration. Many symptoms also depend on age. For instance, infants can show signs of dehydration when they cry without tears, or their diaper remains dry for over three hours. They can also be irritable, or their cheeks and eyes may have a sunken appearance.
Adults can typically feel fatigued, confused, or dizzy when they’re dehydrated. They may also have dark-colored urine, urinate less, and experience excessive thirst. Those with certain health conditions like alcoholism and diabetes are also more vulnerable to dehydration.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
There are several ways you can keep yourself hydrated, especially during the summertime. These methods include:
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- Consuming liquids/foods high in water, such as veggies and fruits
- Take water bottles with you if you plan to be outside or workout
- Consider beverages that have water and electrolytes to retain essential nutrients
- Try drinking herbal tea or water mixed with fruits/herbs
Dehydration can impact your oral and overall well-being. However, by recognizing the signs and practicing these few tips, you can keep both you and your smile healthy in the long run!
About the Author
Dr. Philip Batson is a proud affiliate of several organizations like the Academy of General Dentistry, the Central Dental Society, and the Missouri Dental Association. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and regularly seeks advanced training to expand his skills. He offers a variety of high-quality and modern treatments, including dental checkups/cleanings to help you maintain healthy teeth. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call 573-875-7071.