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Dehydration can have an impact on the condition of your teeth and gums.

Dehydration can occur if you don’t drink enough water to replace the liquids you have lost. Insufficient fluid in the body can affect a range of bodily functions, and can even have a detrimental impact on your oral health. Read on to find out how dehydration can affect your teeth and gums, and why it is so important to drink plenty of water every day.

How does dehydration affect the body?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to dehydration. These include strenuous physical activity (particularly when performed in hot weather); a diet that is too low in water; excessive sweating; and illness that causes vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Dehydration can cause a number of health concerns, including heat exhaustion, cramps, problems related to the kidneys, and low blood volume which can lead to loss of consciousness.

How does dehydration affect oral health?

When it comes to oral health, dehydration can have a serious impact. Saliva plays an important part in keeping the mouth healthy because it helps to wash bacteria and food particles from the teeth and gums, and also neutralises harmful acids. Saliva also coats the teeth with minerals that strengthen the enamel. When one is dehydrated, the amount of saliva in the mouth tends to decrease. This, in turn, can increase the risk of dry mouth and a range of dental diseases, as well as bad breath.

How do you prevent dehydration?

The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of water throughout the day and to choose foods that have a high water content — fruits and vegetables are good options. If you live in an extreme climate, you may need to drink extra water. You should also increase your consumption of water if

you often do strenuous exercise. Try and drink before and after a workout to ensure that you are properly hydrated.

What can you do about dry mouth?

If you are properly hydrated but are still struggling with a dry mouth, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, can cause a dry mouth, while certain medications can also contribute to the issue. Other risk factors for dry mouth include smoking, consumption of alcohol, advanced age and nerve damage. If you have a dry mouth, it is especially important that you practice proper oral hygiene — this includes brushing and flossing your teeth every day. It is also advisable that you see your dentist for regular check-ups so that any potential dental problems can be identified and resolved as soon as possible. Your dentist may also be able to recommend oral hygiene products formulated to alleviate some of the effects of dry mouth.

How can we help?

At Oracare, we encourage our patients to come in and see us for regular check-ups. When it comes to oral health, prevention is always better than a cure. For this reason, we provide high-quality general and preventative dental care to help our patients stay on top of their dental health.

If you suspect that you have an oral health issue, or you simply haven’t had a check-up in a while, we encourage you to arrange a consultation. Our team is available to answer any questions you have regarding your oral health, lifestyle and oral hygiene habits.

Some of the general dentistry treatments that we offer include gum disease treatment and management; root canal therapy; minimal intervention dentistry and fillings. If you would like to see the full range of treatments that we offer at Oracare, please have a look here. If you would like to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here or give us a call on (07) 3286 6914. We look forward to providing you with the dental care that you need and helping to maintain your beautiful smile.