Finally, it’s nice and warm outside. The summer has arrived, and along with it, the chance for your family to get outside and enjoy themselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to a big park or just running around in your backyard, it’s easy to get dehydrated when the weather is this warm.
Getting dehydrated creates several problems. Your family can get dizzy, nauseous, and more. But did you know that being dehydrated can also hurt your family’s smiles?
Call our Hellertown, PA dental office today at 484-858-0949 and make your next appointment for family dentistry. Our Hellertown dentists not only work great with children, they can help everyone in your family keep their smiles healthy despite the risk of dehydration this summer.
Saliva Really Is That Important
Many people believe saliva’s only job is to help you chew your food by making it softer. While that’s certainly an important role, it also helps protect your smile. Here’s how that happens.
- Strengthen your enamel: Saliva contains tiny amounts of minerals like calcium. These minerals can soak into your enamel and strengthen it.
- Keep your breath fresher: Your mouth is continuously washing with saliva, and that helps your breath stay fresh and clean.
- Slow stains on your teeth: Dark food and drink leave behind stains on your teeth, but saliva helps wash some of these away to make the process slower.
- Wash away some food particles: Whenever you eat, tiny particles of food get trapped in your mouth. Saliva helps wash some of these away.
Dental Health Problems From Dehydration
All of this boils down to a dry mouth. When you are dehydrated, your body cannot produce the normal amount of saliva. That leads to the following problems.
Your mouth is home to some harmful bacteria. (Don’t worry, everyone has these.) They eat food particles that get stuck in your mouth, and in return, they produce an acid. So when the bacteria are living on the surface of your teeth, that acid erodes holes that we call cavities.
Normally, your mouth produces saliva that washes away some of these food particles. This would help keep those bacteria under control. But when you have a dry mouth thanks to dehydration, you miss out on that. This leads to a higher risk of cavities.
Unfortunately, cavities aren’t the only dental problems caused by those harmful bacteria. That’s because they can live on your gums instead of your teeth. But they still eat those food particles and produce an acid, but instead of eroding enamel, it damages your gum tissues. This is called gum disease and can lead to losing your teeth.
As with cavities, your mouth is supposed to use saliva to help wash away those food particles. But when you have a dry mouth, that’s not happening nearly as often as it needs to. This lets your gum disease grow worse.
If you enjoy things like wine, coffee, tea, chocolate, or tomato sauce, then you are staining your teeth. This is a long-term problem, which is why you probably don’t quite notice your pearly whites growing dark and dingy.
Saliva helps wash away some of what stains your teeth. So when you don’t have much in your mouth, the stains can start to build up faster. This won’t lead to an overnight change, but it will make your smile look dark more quickly.
As saliva coats your teeth, those trace minerals like calcium found in saliva soak into your teeth. The minerals are used to help make your enamel stronger and more resistant to damage like cavities and chips.
So when you’re dealing with a dry mouth thanks to dehydration, your enamel is missing those minerals. As with stains, this is not going to be an immediate problem. But deal with dehydration often enough, and your teeth will start to weaken.
Call us TODAY at 484-858-0949 or contact us online to make your next appointment for family dentistry. Our Hellertown dentists have the right mix of training and experience to help your whole family have healthy, attractive smiles for years to come. You just need to call us first.