June 2, 2022
Summer is now in full swing, and you’re probably looking for ways to enjoy yourself this season without getting beat by the heat. That said, drinking enough water is crucial for staying hydrated and keeping cool—not to mention, it also greatly benefits your oral health! But sometimes it’s tough to be sure that you’re drinking enough water, as some of the signs of dehydration aren’t always obvious. Keep reading to learn more from your dentist about the importance of drinking enough water and some of the hard-to-detect signs of dehydration.
The Importance of Hydration
Water is the absolute best beverage for your body—which makes sense, given that your body is mostly made up of water! But hydration also specifically benefits your oral health in many ways, primarily by helping your mouth produce enough saliva. Your saliva is important; it’s able to neutralize the cavity-causing acids produced by bacteria while also rinsing away lingering food particles and debris that can become stuck in your teeth. Without enough saliva, your mouth won’t just feel dry; it’ll also become vulnerable to tooth decay, gum disease, and other potential oral health problems.
Seven Sneaky Signs of Dehydration
Feeling thirsty isn’t the only symptom of dehydration—in fact, you’re often already dehydrated by the time you feel like you need a drink! That said, here are seven hard-to-detect signs of dehydration that you should keep an eye out for:
- Bad breath/dry mouth – Bacteria will thrive if your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva and can cause dry mouth and foul-smelling breath, as well as mouth sores.
- Headaches – Even mild dehydration can lead to headaches or sometimes migraines.
- Flu-like symptoms – You might experience dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, fever, chills, or other cold/flu-like symptoms if you’re severely dehydrated.
- Fatigue – You might also feel lethargic and unenergetic, as dehydration can affect the quality of your rest.
- Hunger – Sometimes you might feel hungry again right after eating, but this is because the same part of your brain controls thirst and hunger.
- Muscle cramps – Athletes aren’t the only ones who can get cramps. Sometimes simply going for a walk on a hot day can lead to a painful cramp if you aren’t properly hydrated.
- Dark-colored urine – If your urine is a dark shade of yellow instead of clear or pale-yellow, it’s time to drink some water.
Tips for Staying Properly Hydrated
There isn’t any set requirement for how much water you should drink daily, despite what anecdotal evidence might suggest. Instead, simply drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re not! However, since thirst often sets in once you’re already dehydrated, you should consider drinking water in advance of physical or outdoor activity. This can easily help to offset the fluids that you’ll lose as your body sweats. Also consider carrying a refillable water bottle with you while you’re out—and opt for filling it with tap water, when possible, as it usually contains fluoride which can re-mineralize your teeth!
Dehydration puts your whole body at risk, including your mouth! Consider the importance of hydration and watch out for some of the sneaky signs of dehydration to ensure that your mouth is protected all summer long.
About the Practice
Serenity Orthodontics proudly serves patients under the leadership of Dr. Susan Podray-Donovan and Dr. Kylie Lewis! Dr. Podray-Donovan and Dr. Lewis both have several years of experience and expertise in a wide range of fields, and their practice is pleased to offer several available services including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry options. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, you can contact the practice online or by phone: (678) 879-3006.
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