Summer is coming, so bust out that extra 2 liters of fluid per day to keep you and your oral cavity healthy. Every part of your body needs extra fluids in the summer heat, as your body will be using up most of the fluid to cool and lubricate the dried out tissues. Your mouth needs this lubrication very much, as this is how your teeth and gums are kept healthy. Read on to find out more!
Xerostomia is the clinical term for chronic dry mouth. This is when your mouth is dried out. It is negative because the saliva you have in your mouth serves a double function. It lubricates the teeth and gums, making sure that they do not get damaged, and to give them that supple look and the ability to coat your tissues so that bacterial biofilms do not get stuck so easily to the surfaces inside your mouth. The other is that saliva has antibacterial properties, and breaks up and kills the bacteria.
When the saliva is missing, these two functions are left unfulfilled. This means that the tissues dry out, making them more vulnerable and more likely to get infected. It also makes them more likely to bleed, as being dried out shrivels your gums up, getting the capillaries closer to the surface, and making the cells smaller, providing less protection and less cover for the veins and the blood. The lack of saliva will also cause a proliferation of bacteria in your mouth, which will then lead to teeth cracking and becoming painful, and since the ability to resist bacteria by both the gums and the surface of your teeth is weakened due to lack of fluids, an infection and a cavity are much more likely to form.
This is not an inevitability. The most important thing is to hydrate yourself frequently, not just when your mouth dries out. After eating a meal, wash it down with some water. Make sure you get up from what you are doing and go and have a pint of water every now and then to keep you in good shape. Brush your teeth first, and only drink water afterwards, as otherwise you are swallowing your morning bacteria, which can live in your guts and in your blood, too. If you feel that your mouth is dry, rinse your mouth out first and spit, and only afterwards should you drink some water. An adult should drink between 2 and 3.5 liters of water everyday, with heightened amounts needed for extra physical work and movement.
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