Proper Hydration and Your Oral Health

According to recent studies, more than 75% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated. Considering that our bodies are composed of over 70% water, and that all of our vital systems rely on the intake of fresh water to function properly, it’s no wonder that many medical professionals attribute an overwhelming number of medical conditions to dehydration. Although some issues, such as improper organ function, are commonly associated with a lack of sufficient fresh water consumption, one frequently overlooked side effect of dehydration is its impact on our oral health.

Our mouths are a breeding ground for bacteria. In order to regularly cleanse the teeth and gums of these unseen intruders, the body produces saliva to wash the mouth clean, maintaining a fresh, healthy balance. However, in order to produce sufficient saliva for this system to properly function, the body as a whole must be sufficiently hydrated. People with chronically dry mouths typically develop gum disease, and, in advanced stages, may see the resultant loss of teeth and jawbone.

Some common warning signs of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness in the joints and muscles
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Cramps
  • Swelling of the mouth and gums

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may simply be dehydrated. Most medical professionals recommend a minimum of 8-10 cups of water per day. You should drink more if you are physically active, or on particularly hot days when you are in the direct sun. It is also important to remember that your body cannot be sufficiently hydrated through the consumption of foods and other beverages. In fact, many foods and beverages, particularly soda, actually dehydrate you even more. Fresh, clean, clear water is processed differently by the body, and is an absolute necessity.

Do your body and your teeth a favor and make proper hydration a part of your daily routine. Along with brushing and flossing, it’s one of the most important things you can to do improve your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health or your dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Virginia E Lee at Capital Oral and Facial Surgery Center!

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