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Hydration is the Key to Good Oral Health

June 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — bristolfamilydental @ 5:36 pm

Woman sipping a glass of waterWarmer weather is here, which means it’s easy to become dehydrated. If you have too little water in your body, it can lead to life-threatening complications. Did you know dehydration can also harm your oral health? Believe it or not, H2O is a key piece to a healthy smile.

Dehydration Affects Your Oral Health

Dehydration will decrease saliva production. While you might think that’s a good thing, it’s a sign you need to drink more water right away. Saliva keeps your mouth moist and rinses bacteria from your teeth in between brushing and flossing. 

If your mouth gets too dry, it becomes a perfect environment for oral bacteria. It can grow at a rapid rate, which can lead to bad breath. It can also increase your risk of cavities and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss.

Early Signs of Dehydration

The early stages of dehydration can be subtle. It’s best to keep an eye out for:

  • Dark Urine: Urine should be a pale yellow color if you are hydrated.
  • A Dry Mouth: Insufficient saliva production can make your mouth dry and uncomfortable.
  • Headache: Dehydration temporarily shrinks brain tissue, which can cause pain.
  • Increased Hunger: If you feel hungry again shortly after eating, it can be a symptom of dehydration.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: A general feeling of illness is common with mild-to-moderate dehydration.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or exhausted can occur if the body does not have enough water to function correctly.
  • Bad Breath: Bad breath means there’s an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth.

Hydration Supports a Healthy Smile

Healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water each day. However, the amount you need depends on your activity level, temperature, and individual requirements. 

If you have any signs of dehydration, drink a glass or two of water right away. Skip fruit juices, soda, and alcohol because they can make dehydration worse and feed harmful bacteria in your mouth. Instead, reach for a glass of tap water. 

Fluoride is added to many public water sources because it is a proven cavity fighter. You can stay hydrated and promote strong enamel by drinking from the tap. 

If a dry mouth continues to be an issue, despite drinking more water, it’s time to talk to your dentist. It can be a symptom of an underlying issue or medication. They’ll create the personalized plan you need to keep your mouth moist, so your smile stays healthy.

About Dr. Arabella Christian

Dr. Christian achieved her dental degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and continued her education for 3 years in endodontics. She regularly completes additional training to provide specialty services. Request an appointment through our website or call (860) 986-6476.

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