July 15, 2021
During summer, most people tend to sweat a lot more than usual and lose plenty of fluids. Unfortunately, they often forget to replace what they’ve lost, causing dehydration. Since water makes up more than two-thirds of your body, any loss of fluids can affect regular bodily functions. Well, did you know it can affect your oral health too? Read on to learn which signs of dehydration to look out for and the consequences it can have on your smile.
How Does Dehydration Affect Oral Health?
Drinking plenty of water is crucial at all times, but especially in hot water. Dehydration can have detrimental effects on your body, causing persistent vomiting, diarrhea, heat cramps, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and more. As for your oral health, it can cause your saliva production to decrease, meaning your chances of developing dry mouth and dental disease are much higher. Saliva also plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy mouth by washing away food particles and bacteria from your teeth and gums.
Signs of Dehydration
Unfortunately, the signs of dehydration can be very subtle, making it difficult to tell when your body requires fluids. Although symptoms can vary from person to person, there are some common signs that can alert you of dehydration.
Young Children and Infants
- Crying without tears
- Their diaper hasn’t been wet in over three hours
- A dry mouth or tongue
- Sunken cheeks and eyes
- Irritability and listlessness
- Less urination
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth or bad breath (halitosis)
- Dark-colored urine
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Dizziness, fatigue, or confusion
It’s worth noting that adults with certain health conditions (i.e., diabetes and alcoholism) are more susceptible to dehydration.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Water is truly one of the best drinks for your mouth and body. Staying hydrated is crucial for your overall wellbeing, especially during the warmer months. Here are some tips to help you get more water throughout the day:
- Drink water when you’re thirsty
- Always keep a reusable water bottle with you
- Hydrate before, during, and after exercising
- Eat foods with high water content, such as fresh fruits and vegetables
- If you’re not a fan of plain water, try drinking herbal or fruit-infused water instead
Dehydration might be a big problem during summer, but you can easily prevent it by drinking lots of water – it’s guaranteed to keep you hydrated and healthy all season long!
About the Author
Dr. Ronan Freyne earned his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is passionate about helping patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles that are in optimal condition. To learn more about how dehydration affects oral health, visit our website or call (301) 986-0700.
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