People like to spend more time outside during the warmer months, participating in various outdoor activities. But as the weather gets hotter, many tend to sweat a lot more than usual and end up losing lots of fluids. To avoid dehydration, you must drink enough water to replace what you’ve lost. Otherwise, you could put your body and oral health at risk. Learn which signs of dehydration to look out for and how they can affect your smile.
How Dehydration Affects Oral Health
As most people know, dehydration can have severe effects on your body. It can cause persistent vomiting, diarrhea, heat cramps, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and more. Unfortunately, most aren’t aware of the effects it can have on your oral health as well. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), saliva keeps your mouth healthy by washing away food particles and bacteria from your teeth and gums. So, since dehydration decreases your saliva production, your chances of developing dry mouth or dental disease are higher.
Signs of Dehydration
It’s hard to tell when your body is in the early stages of dehydration, as signs are usually subtle. Symptoms can also vary from person to person, depending on age and other factors.
Regardless, here are some common signs you can look out for:
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
- Dark-colored urine
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Dizziness, fatigue, or confusion
It’s important to note that adults with health conditions, such as diabetes and alcoholism, are more vulnerable to dehydration.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
Keeping your body hydrated is of utmost importance, especially during hot weather. Here are some tips to help you get more water throughout the day:
- Drinking 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 (i.e., fresh fruits and vegetables)
- Not a fan of plain ol’ H2O? Try drinking herbal or fruit-infused water instead
If you plan to spend some time under the sun, make sure you prepare to stay hydrated. After all, drinking plenty of water will help you enjoy a healthy smile for many summers to come!
About the Practice
Our team at Lakeside Daytona Dentist is committed to delivering outstanding patient care. We go above and beyond to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and personalized dental services that the entire family can enjoy! For more tips on how to keep your smile healthy this summer, visit our website or call (386) 274-2021.