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Is Hydration the Key to Good Oral Health?

February 4, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_carter @ 8:50 pm

Woman sipping a glass of waterDid you know that 60% of the human body is water? It is necessary for life because it provides cells with nutrients, helps rid wastes, protects the joints and organs, and even regulates body temperature. Despite the benefits of drinking water, 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated, but that can be offset by heat, activity, alcohol, sodium, caffeine, and many other factors. A dry mouth is an early sign of dehydration. Not only can you be at risk of health issues, but dehydration can also affect your dental health. Here’s why you should drink up to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Dental Risks of Dehydration

Hydration is necessary for saliva production. Although no one wants to think about their spit, it is an influential component of your dental health and even kick-starts the digestion process. It keeps your mouth clean by rinsing away food residue and bacteria. If your body isn’t hydrated, you won’t produce enough saliva, making your mouth dry. 

A hot, moist environment is great for oral bacterial growth. Harmful bacteria can get out of control quickly, increasing your risk of bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. Although occasional bouts of a dry mouth are common, chronic dehydration can break down your enamel and increase your risk of infections.

Drink Water from the Tap

Dentists and healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily. This amount is considered a baseline and everyone’s needs differ. If your mouth is dry, it’s time to get a glass of water.

Your dentist will recommend choosing water from the tap instead of bottled. Fluoride is added to public water systems to promote strong enamel. Known as “nature’s cavity fighter,” fluoride remineralizes enamel, making it more resistant to decay. Besides promoting a cavity-free smile, every sip also rinses your mouth to remove bacteria and food residue.

Combat Dry Mouth for a Healthy Smile

Dehydration isn’t the only culprit of a dry mouth. Certain medications and health conditions can also cause the issue. In addition to staying hydrated, chewing sugarless gum encourages saliva production. Your dentist can also recommend a specialty mouthwash to reduce the effects of a dry mouth. 

If you have concerns about a dry mouth, discuss them with your dentist during your cleaning and checkup. They’ll create the personalized plan you need to keep your mouth and body healthy.

About Dr. Bruce E. Carter

Dr. Carter earned his dental degree at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and completed additional training at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. He offers the latest developments in dentistry to support the mouth and body connection. Request an appointment through his website or call his office at (770) 574-4540.

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