This is a wonderful time of year and the team at Jefferson Dental Care encourages you to make the most of it. We are also reminding you to take good care of your teeth and gums while you are enjoying your summer. With the summer heat, your body tends to slow down on its saliva production and that can cause oral health issues. Dry mouth can be a problem, resulting in gum disease and tooth decay. With a little bit of diligence, you can minimize or eliminate the problem.
The Oral Darkside of Summer
Georgia is a warm spot most of the year, much more so in the summertime. With spikes in temperature, our bodies do not produce as much saliva as usual. When your mouth does not have enough moisture, unpleasant things begin to happen. To begin with, dry mouth is uncomfortable. It can cause a burning sensation in your mouth including your tongue. Your lips become dry and cracked. Halitosis, or bad breath, can also develop. You may even have problems chewing your food or swallowing due to the lack of moisture.
In addition to those symptoms, dental decay or gum disease can develop. Your saliva is crucial in minimizing these problems. The flow of saliva helps move food debris from your teeth and gums. It also has nutrients like calcium, phosphate and bicarbonate, which help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Without enough saliva, you are more likely to develop cavities and are at a greater risk of developing gingivitis as bacteria proliferates in your mouth.
The Good News
You can prevent problems by taking a few precautions:
- Stay hydrated! Be sure to drink plenty of water. This is the best beverage for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and staying hydrated.
- Watch your diet. This is the time to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Those with high water content like tomatoes, cucumbers and melons are great for helping with hydration. If you eat acidic fruits like grapefruit or lemons, or drink fruit juice, be sure to rinse your mouth with water to protect your teeth.
- Caffeine is a natural diuretic. So is alcohol. Limit your consumption of these products. Coffee, colas and some teas can be very high in caffeine and will have the reverse effect of hydration.
- Use sugar-free mints to help saliva production. Sucking on these will also help keep your breath fresh.
- Keep your lips moist by using a lip balm.
- Summer is a great time to drop habits like smoking or using other tobacco products. These cause dry mouth.
Young children and the elderly may need help or encouragement to stay hydrated. Kids love to keep playing and may not stop to get a drink of water. Often, elderly people do not get those signals for thirst and will become dehydrated.
This summer, add a little moisture to your mouth from time to time to keep your smile healthy and brilliant. Contact Jefferson Dental Care for all your dental needs.
Posted on Behalf of Jefferson Dental Care