How Does Dehydration Affect Oral Health?

young man drinking a big bottle of water to stay hydrated

Dehydration can cause a number of unpleasant side effects, as early as 72 hours after not having enough fluid. It does more than just cause dry skin and dizziness. Dehydration can also affect your oral health. Rigby Advanced Dental, serving Austin, TX, and the general vicinity, wants to take some time to educate our patients about an issue that can wreak havoc on your mouth.

Increased Risk for Decay

Whether you have dry mouth from over exercising, not drinking enough, or a medication, your mouth may lack the saliva necessary to prevent decay. Saliva acts as a cleaning solvent for your teeth. It washes away bacteria and debris. When you don’t have an adequate amount of saliva, that bacteria remains in your mouth. The bacteria will feed on the sugar you consume, and in return, will release an acidic waste product that causes your teeth to decay.

Elevated Risk for Gum Disease

Your risk for gum disease rises when you’re dehydrated. Not only is saliva not available to wash away the bacteria that causes gum disease, it also doesn’t adequately remove food particles from in between your teeth. Therefore, the bacteria around and under your gums have food to thrive on when your saliva doesn’t wash it away.

Greater Chance of Bad Breath

Even if you don’t have decay or gum disease, you can still have bacteria in your mouth. The waste product that the bacteria excretes has an unpleasant odor. Different bacteria produce different odors from their waste. Food particles can also remain that break down and exude a foul scent.

Weaker Enamel

Your saliva delivers fluoride, calcium, and phosphate – three minerals that your enamel needs to remain hard. Specifically, these minerals are necessary for the remineralization process, the process your teeth undergo whenever you lose a normal amount of tooth enamel.

Dehydration can have a negative impact on your oral health. By staying hydrated daily, you can reduce your risk of these problems happening. Get the oral care you need to further improve your oral health by scheduling an appointment with Rigby Advanced Dental, serving Austin, TX, and the nearby area, by calling 512-992-2822.

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