Now that the summer has finally begun, it’s time to get outside and play. Baseball, bike rides, or swimming are normal parts of summer, and for good reason: They’re fun. But they do have a downside.
You’re more at risk for dehydration during the summer months. Combine heat with activity and you start to sweat a lot. Dehydration has several problems for your body, including dizziness and fatigue, but it can also hurt your smile.
That’s why you need to call our Leawood, KS dental office today at 913-945-1612 to make a new appointment. By letting our expertly trained Leawood dentists check out your teeth and gums, you can help prevent problems like cavities and gum disease.
Saliva Helps Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Dehydration is a problem for both your body and your teeth. For your dental health, the biggest problem is having a dry mouth. That’s because your teeth and gums depend on saliva to help keep them healthy. Here’s what saliva does for your dental health.
- Help your breath smell better: Saliva keeps replenishing itself, effectively washing your teeth, tongue, and gums to help keep your breath smelling better.
- Slow down how fast you get stains on your teeth: Dark food and drink will stain your teeth, but saliva helps wash some of that away before it can stain your enamel.
- Strengthen your enamel: Saliva has calcium and some trace minerals. When it coats your teeth, this helps make the enamel stronger.
- Fight gum disease and cavities: Harmful bacteria in your mouth feed off food particles. They also cause cavities and gum disease. Saliva helps wash away those particles to limit the damage bacteria can do.
Dental Problems Due To Dry Mouth
When you are dehydrated for any reason, your mouth cannot make the saliva it normally does. That gives you a dry mouth, which in turn leads to several dental health problems.
Saliva normally washes away food particles that get trapped in your mouth. Bacteria thrive on these particles. They also produce an acid that erodes holes (cavities) in your enamel. The more food for those bacteria, the more cavities you’ll get.
That’s why dry mouth can lead to more cavities. Without the saliva to get rid of those food particles, you’ll end up with bacteria multiplying and growing in your mouth.
When those bacteria produce acid on your teeth, it creates cavities. But what happens when the bacteria are on your gums instead? That same acid starts to hurt your gums. This is the early stage of gum disease. Eventually, the bacteria can infect your gums and even make your teeth fall out.
When you are dehydrated and have a dry mouth, you’re not washing away food particles that feed bacteria. In other words, dry mouth leads to an increased risk of gum disease.
BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS)
If you’ve ever woken up after a night where you drank too much alcohol, you know how dry mouth can lead to having bad breath. Also known as halitosis, bad breath happens when you don’t have saliva washing away the stuff that causes a bad odor. Instead, it just piles up in your mouth. Gum will help, but if you’re dehydrated, you won’t have much saliva to chew gum with anyway.
Because saliva has calcium and similar minerals, it can strengthen your enamel. It can even repair microscopic damage to your teeth. But when you are dehydrated, there isn’t enough saliva to add calcium and more to your teeth. This means your enamel starts to grow weaker with a dry mouth.
Call us TODAY at 913-945-1612 or use our convenient online form to make your next appointment with our Leawood dentists. A regular dental cleaning and dental exam are needed every six months even if you never have dry mouth. That means visiting S&G Family Dentistry is needed in the summer more than ever.