July 21, 2022
This year’s summer is one of the hottest Texas has seen in a while. Many counties have been sending out Heat Advisories since June. Meanwhile, July alone has seen record-high temperatures in multiple Southwest cities. Basically, it’s an absolute scorcher putting you at risk of dehydration. That’s bad news for your body, and not just because being dehydrated makes you thirsty — it can also harm your teeth. Read on to learn three sneaky signs of dehydration, its impact on oral health, and tips on keeping hydrated this summer.
3 Sneaky Signs of Dehydration
Feeling thirsty and sweaty aren’t the only signs you’re dehydrated. In fact, there are sneakier signs that are easy to miss. Look out for the three below in the future.
Dehydration and lacking electrolytes cause your body to lose minerals like sodium and potassium. As a result, you’ll have unbalanced pH levels and lose some control over your nervous system.
Your body’s organs conserve water when you’re dehydrated. Consequently, your urine will become more concentrated and take on a darker coloring.
In other words: If it’s pale yellow, you’re hydrated. Have a glass of water or two if it’s a darker yellow.
Dehydration can cause symptoms flu-like symptoms. That means stuff like fever, chills, lightheadedness, and nausea can appear even when you don’t have the virus.
How Does Dehydration Affect Oral Health?
When dehydrated, your body produces less saliva than usual. This decreased production can lead to dry mouth and the growth of harmful mouth bacteria. As such, a lack of saliva increases your risk of dental diseases.
Furthermore, a dry mouth can make your teeth weaker. Saliva bathes the latter with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride, which are minerals that strengthen enamel.
Essential Hydration Tips
To avoid the adverse effects of dehydration, you should always stay hydrated. Therefore, practice these habits as best you can:
- Quench Your Thirst: When thirsty, drink until you no longer feel that way. Be cautious, though, since you can get dehydrated even if you don’t experience thirst.
- Stay Prepared: If you’re planning to exercise strenuously or go to a hot place, get plenty to drink the day before. You could even drink something that has both water and electrolytes, as the latter is good for retaining critical nutrients.
- Be Water-Conscious: Remember to hydrate throughout the day. For example, have a reusable water bottle on hand.
The summer heat will break, but it’ll take a while. Until then, follow the tips above so that your smile stays hydrated and healthy!
About the Author
Dr. Richard Fossum is a dentist in Temple, TX, having graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston. He is an avid learner who takes many hours of continuing education each year to stay updated on current dental trends. His services include not only preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry but also emergency dental care. Dr. Fossum currently practices at his self-titled clinic and can be reached at his website or by phone at (254)-778-3900.
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