It is simple to undervalue the negative effects that a heat wave can have on our health. High temperatures can harm you. There are measures we can take to safeguard ourselves from heat stress and its repercussions, as well as the individuals we care for. As for oral health, a Greenville, NC, dentist will say that hot weather can also compromise oral health in certain ways.
Dental Health During Summer
Dry Mouth and Dehydration
This is a really simple and all too often an issue. After consuming alcohol in the evening, many of us will have experienced waking up with a dry mouth. However, this can also occur throughout the day, especially in hot weather.
A dry mouth not only causes an uncomfortable sensation but also promotes the growth of potentially hazardous germs in the mouth. Your gums can also be harmed by these bacteria, which increases the risk of tooth decay by attacking the enamel of your teeth. If you don't consume enough liquids and become dehydrated, gum disorders like gingivitis and periodontitis are more likely to develop.
Even though we might drink some water if we start to feel thirsty, especially in really hot weather, we should start drinking much earlier. Make sure to hydrate yourself with water frequently during the day and as much as you feel comfortable before bed. Also, see that you bring water if you venture outside during the hottest part of the day to prevent dehydration and the onset of sickness.
The Issue Is Not the Heat Per Se
The drinks and food we consume during a heatwave are the main cause of the problem for teeth. There are three primary risks:
- Unless you’re drinking water, the acid in wine, fruit juices, and carbonated beverages weakens tooth enamel, making it easier for germs to access the tooth's underlying components. Always remember that acid is neutralized by saliva.
- Because it’s summer, most of us would love to eat ice cream or chill at a restaurant or café and devour cakes and other sweets. Sugar damages teeth, whether in ice cream or a chilly latte. It is the favorite food of bacteria.
Skip the Alcohol
Nothing appeals to us more when it's hot than a nice cold beverage. Manufacturers of alcoholic beverages have undoubtedly taken notice of this as well, as evidenced by some of the commercials. But even though it might seem attractive, drinking a cool pint of lager or cider when you're thirsty can be counterproductive.
Alcohol, as we all know, actually causes you to become dehydrated, so the effect of that initial "cold hit" will quickly wear off. In light of the current weather, it is advised that you try to limit your alcohol consumption if at all feasible. If this is not possible, drink lots of water, perhaps alternating with alcoholic beverages.
Avoid Sugary Beverages
In light of the preceding, it is important to remember that water—rather than sugary carbonated beverages—is by far the best fluid to drink to rehydrate. Due to the mix of acids and high sugar content, these are regarded as one of the primary causes of tooth decay. While we don't want to banish it completely as a treat, it's crucial to be aware of this problem and use water as your primary rehydration method.
Ask a Greenville, NC, Dentist for More Information
Accidents caused by drinking too much alcohol also carry an increased danger. Unfortunately, this may lead to cracked or knocked-out teeth, necessitating emergency dental treatment at your neighborhood dental office. Please schedule an appointment with our friendly staff.