As summer takes center stage, people are embracing the season with poolside lounging, water park adventures, and beach getaways. While these activities offer a chance to take in some Vitamin D and spend some quality time with loved ones, it is vital to be prepared. Alongside the potential harm from the sun’s rays, dehydration becomes another factor to consider. Water, which is indispensable for our well-being, plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall health and vitality, and not having enough of it can harm your smile. To ensure you stay well hydrated, keep reading to learn about six lesser-known signs of dehydration and tips to prevent it.
How Dehydration Hurts Your Dental Health
When your body lacks sufficient water, dehydration occurs, leading to improper functioning of essential bodily processes. Dehydration can manifest as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of water deficiency.
Insufficient production of saliva contributes to the accumulation of food debris in the mouth, increasing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral infections. Furthermore, the scarcity of saliva diminishes its ability to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria that cause cavities, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay.
6 Sneaky Signs of Dehydration
While extreme thirst is a well-known indicator of dehydration, it is not the sole symptom to watch out for. Some of the lesser-known signs of dehydration include:
- Headaches – Individuals who are prone to headaches or migraines may experience these conditions as a result of mild to moderate dehydration.
- Flu-like symptoms – Common symptoms associated with the flu, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, and nausea, can also be experienced as a result of dehydration.
- Bad breath – When dehydration sets in, reduced saliva production creates an environment where foul-smelling bacteria can thrive in your mouth.
- Hunger – Thirst and hunger cues both originate from the hypothalamus. If you’re still hungry after eating, it could be a sign of dehydration.
- Fatigue – Dehydration can cause fatigue and disrupt your sleep, resulting in feelings of lethargy and exhaustion.
- Muscle cramps – Insufficient electrolyte levels due to dehydration can lead to muscle cramps during exercise, as they are necessary for maintaining pH balance and regulating nervous system functions. If you’re experiencing muscle tightness or pain on a hot day, these symptoms could indicate dehydration.
5 tips to Prevent Dehydration
While dehydration poses risks to both oral and overall health, there are several preventive measures you can take to avoid it, such as:
- Consume water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables
- Carry a reusable water bottle around with you
- Hydrate before extended sun exposure
- Drink water when you’re thirsty
- Sip water all day
Paying attention to your body’s signals can help you maintain good oral and overall health. So, be sure to drink water if you ever feel thirsty to keep your beam in good condition!
About the Practice
For top-notch dental care and help on achieving a beautiful smile, Dr. Mariliza LaCap, Dr. Darren Tong, Dr. Andres Muñoz, Dr. Kaitlyn Terry, and their dedicated team at Washington Dental Associates are here to assist you. Offering a range of preventive services like checkups and cleanings, they aim to prevent a range of oral health issues. If you frequently experience dehydration, their expertise can help you identify warning signs and establish preventive measures. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, call Washington Dental Associates at (201) 453-4863 or visit their website.