How do you like to spend your summer days? If you’re like most people, you may be looking forward to being outdoors soaking up the beautiful warm weather. As it gets hotter, people tend to sweat more and forget to replace the fluids they’ve lost. This can cause dehydration, which not only affects normal bodily functions but can also be bad news for your oral health. Read on to learn more about the signs of dehydration, the consequences it can have on your smile, and tips to help you stay safe during the sunny season.
How Dehydration Affects Oral Health
Dehydration can have some serious effects on your body, causing issues like persistent vomiting, diarrhea, heat cramps, and heat stroke. It’s a common problem during the warmer months, mainly because people are more likely to partake in extreme physical activity and forget to drink sufficient water.
Believe it or not, dehydration can take a toll on your oral health. It can cause your saliva production to decrease, which increases your risk of dry mouth and dental disease. Because saliva plays a key role in keeping your mouth healthy, having a dry mouth can be bad news for your smile.
Signs of Dehydration
Some of the signs of dehydration are very subtle, which is why it’s hard to tell if you’re experiencing it. Your symptoms can also vary based on age and other factors. Nonetheless, here are some common signs to look out for:
Young Children and Infants
Is your little one crying without tears? Has it been over three hours since they’ve wet their diaper? Both of these are signs of dehydration, which means you need to get them water as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for a dry mouth and tongue, sunken cheeks, irritability, and listlessness. Because infants have low body weight, they can easily become dehydrated even with slight fluid loss.
For adults, common signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, less urination, and dark-colored urine. Some people may also experience dizziness, fatigue, confusion, muscle spasms, cramps, and a headache. It’s worth noting that you’re at higher risk of dehydration if you’re diabetic or have a history of alcoholism.
Ways to Stay Hydrated
The good news is there are many ways you can stay hydrated and healthy! Some of those include:
- Drinking lots of water when you’re thirsty
- Keeping a reusable bottle with you at all times
- Hydrating before, during, and after intense exercise
- Consuming foods with high water content (i.e., fresh fruits and vegetables)
- Drinking herbal tea or fruit-infused water if you’re not a fan of plain water
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of summer and forget to drink plenty of water. However, staying on top of it can help you avoid dehydration and enjoy the season without any issues!
About the Practice
At Tamborello Dental Associates, we offer comprehensive services for patients of all ages in one welcoming, convenient location. Our skilled and knowledgeable team is passionate about helping people maintain optimal oral health. We enjoy educating patients to ensure they make the right decisions for their smiles. For more summer oral health tips, visit our website or call (713) 522-7540.