June 12, 2023
Summer is here! You’re probably spending more time outdoors to enjoy the warmer temperatures and sunshine, but are you remembering to drink plenty of water? Dehydration can occur very quickly, especially when temperatures are high. Researchers suggest that losing just 1%-2% of your body’s water can affect your daily functioning, while severe dehydration can have life-threatening complications. Here are 7 subtle signs that you need to drink more H2O for a healthy mouth and body.
1. Bad Breath or Dry Mouth
When your body gets dehydrated, you won’t produce as much saliva, which can cause oral bacteria to get out of control. A dry mouth is a perfect environment for bacteria growth because it’s dark and moist, which can lead to bad breath.
2. Muscle Spasms or Cramps
Dehydration causes electrolyte depletion, which means you don’t have enough minerals in your system, like potassium and sodium. The minerals help regulate pH levels in your body and support the nervous system. If your muscles are tight or you’re experiencing cramping, you may not be drinking enough.
Tolerable or intense headaches can occur with mild-to-moderate dehydration. Researchers have found that insufficient water in the body can temporarily shrink brain tissue, which can result in pain.
4. Dark Urine
The color of your urine is a good indicator of your body’s hydration. You should drink a glass or two of water if your urine is dark yellow. Ideally, it should be pale yellow. The more you drink, the clearer it should be.
You must have enough water in your system to deliver nutrients to your cells. If you don’t, your organs can function poorly. You can experience fatigue or a little under the weather. It’s not unusual to be lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous.
6. Persistent Hunger
If you’re hungry again right after eating, you may need a glass of water. The hypothalamus is the area of the brain responsible for thirst and hunger cues. If you seem hungrier than usual, dehydration might be the culprit.
7. Dental Issues
Dehydration can affect your oral health. Besides bad breath, a dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease, which are leading causes of tooth loss. Water will keep you hydrated to support your dental health. Every sip you take will also rinse your mouth to reduce oral bacteria.
Healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water daily, but you may need much more during the summer. Various factors affect the amount you should be drinking, like the temperature and your activity level. Whenever in doubt, reach for a glass of water.
About Dr. Frank Marchese
Dr. Marchese attained his dental degree from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education to provide up-to-date services. He uses the latest innovations in dentistry to help each patient achieve their best smile. Request an appointment through our website or call (630) 969-2310.
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