With summertime in full swing, many people will be spending the season hanging out by the pool, at waterparks, or on the beach. Though these are certainly great ways to get some vitamin D and have some fun with friends and family, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the day. Along with the sun’s rays potentially damaging your skin, dehydration is another factor you need to consider. To help you prevent this, read on to learn about some lesser-known signs of dehydration, how it harms your smile, and tips to prevent it.
How Dehydration Hurts Your Dental Health
Dehydration is a condition that happens when your body doesn’t have the water it needs. Without enough water, your body won’t function properly. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe. The inadequate saliva production lets food debris linger in your mouth, which raises your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and other mouth infections. Since saliva neutralizes the acids that cavity-causing bacteria produce, not having enough of it also makes your teeth susceptible to decay.
6 Sneaky Signs of Dehydration
Extreme thirst is a common sign that you’re dehydrated, but it’s far from the only one. A few lesser-known signs of dehydration include:
- Bad breath – Less saliva production while dehydrated leaves foul-smelling bacteria in your mouth to thrive.
- Headaches – Mild to moderate dehydration can cause headaches or even migraines in people who are prone to them.
- Flu-like symptoms – This includes dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms commonly associated with the flu.
- Hunger – Both thirst and hunger cues come from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. If you recently ate but are still hungry, you may actually be dehydrated.
- Fatigue – Dehydration can make you feel lethargic. It may also make it difficult for you to sleep well, leading to exhaustion.
- Muscle cramps – Dehydration can cause muscle cramps while exercising since your body doesn’t have enough electrolytes to properly balance your pH levels and control your nervous system functions. If you’re in pain or experiencing muscle tightness on a hot day, these things may be signs of dehydration.
5 tips to Prevent Dehydration
Though dehydration can be dangerous for both your oral and your overall health, there are several ways that you can prevent it, including:
- Eat foods that have a high water content, like fruits and vegetables
- Drink plenty of fluids before you spend a lot of time in the sun
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go
- Drink water whenever you feel thirsty
- Sip water throughout the day
The signs of dehydration aren’t always as obvious as you might think, but the above information will make them easier to notice. Paying close attention to the signals your body gives you will help you keep your oral and overall health in good shape!
About the Practice
Dr. Angela Courtney and Dr. Christy Cox lead the Artistry Smile Center team from their comfortable, inviting Columbus dental office. They treat patients of all ages and offer a range of oral health services to help you maintain a healthy smile. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment with the Artistry Smile Center team or want more information on their services, visit their website or call their office at (614) 451-7393 to get started.