During the summer, spending time outside is a common way to enjoy the season. Whether that means sunbathing, swimming, or going for a stroll, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. While sunscreen is an obvious way to limit the damage the sun’s rays can cause, staying hydrated is also key. Signs of dehydration aren’t always as obvious as you might think, so read on to learn about six sneaky symptoms and how to avoid them.
How Dehydration Hurts Your Dental Health
Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough water to function as intended. It can cause a range of issues in the body, including physical and cognitive impairments. Dehydration can be caused by several things, including diarrhea, vomiting, fever, excessive sweating, and increased urination.
It can also damage your oral health since inadequate saliva production allows food debris to linger in your mouth for long periods. This raises your risk of oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. Saliva also neutralizes acids released by cavity-causing bacteria, so not producing enough of it makes you more susceptible to tooth decay.
6 Sneaky Signs of Dehydration
It may not always be obvious that you’re dehydrated. Along with extreme thirst, some other potential signs of dehydration include:
- Hunger – Hunger and thirst cues both come from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. If you ate recently but are still hungry, you may need to drink water.
- Fatigue – Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and may also make it hard for you to get good sleep, which may lead to exhaustion.
- Headaches – This is a potential symptom of mild to moderate dehydration. Migraines are also a possibility in those who are prone to them.
- Bad breath – Inadequate saliva production lets foul-smelling bacteria thrive in the mouth.
- Flu-like symptoms – Dizziness, headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, and other flu-like symptoms may be signs of dehydration.
- Muscle cramps – Being dehydrated means your body doesn’t have enough electrolytes to control your nervous system functions and balance your pH levels. This can cause muscle cramps while working out. Pain or muscle tightness while exercising on a hot day may be signs of dehydration.
5 tips to Prevent Dehydration
As you can see, dehydration can harm both your oral and overall health. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent it, including:
- Eat fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelon
- Drink lots of water before spending time in the sun
- Carry a reusable water bottle around with you
- Drink water whenever you’re thirsty
- Drink water throughout the day
Signs of dehydration may not always be as obvious as you’d think. With the above information, these symptoms will be easier to notice so you can keep yourself well hydrated and protect your pearly whites from harm!
About the Practice
Sweet Smiles Family Dentistry takes pride in offering quality, effective healthcare to families in the Milwaukee, Grafton, and Mt. Pleasant areas. They offer a range of preventive treatments to help you avoid oral health issues and keep your smile looking lovely. If you want more information on their services or are ready to schedule an appointment, call Sweet Smiles Family Dentistry’s Mt. Pleasant office at (262) 672-2393, their Milwaukee office at (414) 808-2003, their Grafton office at (262) 333-0540, or visit their website.