Record heat this summer is blazing across the country. Some states are even facing intense droughts, wildfires, and power shortages. Needless to say, those facing these conditions are at high risk of dehydration. That’s rightly concerning to many people, including your dentist in Newark! After all, this fluid loss can cause serious problems for teeth and gums. To learn more, read this summary about dehydration’s oral effects, sneaky symptoms, and prevention.
How Does Dehydration Affect Oral Health?
You’ll obviously experience thirst when you’re dehydrated. However, your teeth and gums will suffer too.
The fluid lost in dehydration includes your mouth’s saliva. Without it, harmful bacteria quickly grow on the teeth, gums, and tongue. In other words, less saliva means a greater risk for dry mouth and dental diseases. Furthermore, it means your teeth get less exposure to minerals that strengthen tooth enamel.
3 Sneaky Dehydration Signs
It turns out that stopping fluid loss isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Besides obvious symptoms like thirst, dehydration has subtler indicators. Take a look at the three below.
Sometimes, getting dehydrated makes your brain and other body tissues shrink and contract. When that happens, they pull away from the skull and put pressure on nerves. That process can cause moderate to severe headaches.
Muscle Spasms or Cramps
When your body depletes its reserves of water and electrolytes, it lacks key resources like sodium and potassium. Since these minerals control nervous system function, being deficient in them can trigger muscle spasms and cramps.
Water is necessary for your body’s overall functions. Consequently, dehydration can trigger a ‘survival mode’ of sorts. Among other things, this body response involves your kidneys trying to save as much water as possible and causing your urine to turn dark.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
Thankfully, you can avoid dehydration’s nasty effects on your body. Just practice the following tips:
- Drink to thirst: Drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re not. Plus, consider having drinks made of water and electrolytes — the latter helps your body retain nutrients.
- Use Good Tools: Have a reusable water bottle handy throughout the day. You could also use one with marked time goals.
- Plan Ahead: Prepare for planned sun exposure or exercise by drinking extra fluids the day before. Hydrate during and after these times as well.
It’s safe to say the current heat probably won’t let up for a while. As such, be extra vigilant for dehydration in the coming days and weeks.
About the Practice
White Clay Dental is based in Newark, DE. Led by Drs. Ganfield and Bond, their team carries on a fifty-year tradition of providing high-quality and affordable dental care. They offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services. Even better, their treatments use the latest techniques and technology available. For more information or to book an appointment, reach them at their website or by phone at (302)-731-4225.