With the days getting hotter and hotter, dehydration is rapidly becoming a huge medical concern. It has been estimated that more than 2,000 people end up in the emergency room due to dehydration. What you may not realize is that dehydration doesn’t just affect the outer body, but the inner body as well, including your mouth. Here a few signs of dehydration to look for.
How Dehydration Affects Your Tongue
One of the first signs of dehydration is your tongue. When the body becomes dehydrated, saliva decreases, which in turn dries out your tongue. The dryness of your tongue will lead to swollenness, as the body fights to retain any amount of bodily liquid. When your tongue is dehydrated, acids can build up in your mouth, which can also cause bad breath. When hydrated and healthy, your tongue should be pink, and should be covered with small nodules called papillae. If your tongue does not look pink and has no papillae, this could be a sign that you are dehydrated.
How Dehydration Affects Your Teeth
The decrease of saliva can also affect your teeth as well. Saliva contains small amounts of calcium, which helps repair the enamel in your teeth. The more your mouth become dehydrated, the more your teeth lose enamel. Saliva also helps to break down food in your mouth. As your dehydrated mouth loses saliva, it allows food to build-up between your teeth. A prolonged buildup of food can lead to cavities, causing further damage to your teeth and mouth.
The best remedy for dehydration that we recommend is water. We suggest you try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day that are at least eight ounces each. Drinking water will maintain your body’s hydration and limit your chances of your mouth becoming dehydrated. For more information, feel free to call our office.