The Dangers of Dehydration

Your gums and teeth are not immune from the harm caused by dehydration.

As we seem to be at the start of a mini heatwave in this country, it seems like an appropriate time to remind our patients from the Battersea and Clapham Junction area, of the importance of staying hydrated during the hot weather.

It goes without saying that dehydration, especially in very hot weather, can cause a number of medical problems and even increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

What is probably less well known though is the damage that it can cause to your oral health.

Gum disease

The most significant oral health problem that is more pronounced when a person is dehydrated is that of gum disease. This happens largely because the bacteria that contribute to gum disease, gingival bacteria, like nothing better than a warm and dry environment in which to thrive. A dry mouth, caused by dehydration, is exactly this perfect environment, especially during our sleeping hours where we are unable to do anything about it.

As the bacteria thrive and grow in our mouth, they start to attack the gums, causing soreness, and sometimes bleeding. Whilst these are relatively minor symptoms and can be treated at the Confidental Clinic; if ignored and allowed to advance, periodontitis may occur, potentially causing to loss of teeth.

Staying hydrated

It is important to remember that a dry mouth is not the first sign of dehydration and other signs such as possible tiredness may indicate this problem. Whilst, with normal British weather, our regular fluid intake may be sufficient, we should always try to stay on top of it during very hot weather and drink more fluids than we probably feel that we actually need. The fluids themselves that we use are also important, and, although it can be tempting to reach for an ice cold beer, alcohol itself will also lead to dehydration. Whilst we wouldn’t wish to deny patients of the Confidental Clinic in Clapham a cold beer on a hot day, it is strongly recommended that this is alternated with plenty of water.

Water, water

Water is, in fact, the best drink to take during this weather. Our bodies are made up of approximately 80% water so it makes sense to use this to replenish its loss with more of the same. Caution should also be exercised with many fruit based drinks and energy, or sports, drinks. Whilst these may help to rehydrate you, they may also contain large quantities of sugar, itself very harmful to our teeth as it attacks the enamel.

Above all though, enjoy this great weather whilst it lasts but make sure to stay safe and drink plenty of fluids to keep you healthy and to protect your teeth and gums.

For any help with dental health issues, please call the Confidental Clinic in Clapham Junction on 020 7801 9060.