When you think about drinking water, you may think about staying hydrated for your general well-being. Did you know that staying hydrated is essential for your oral health as well? Your mouth is a delicate environment. Lack of moisture can actually create an environment where bacteria can wreak havoc. Water is not only important to feel good, but it is essential to staying healthy.
What Does Water Do For Your Mouth?
Water is an invaluable part of your health journey. Without it, not only do parts of your body begin to lose function, but your mouth will also experience issues. So, why is water important?
Keeps A Moist Environment
Your mouth needs to stay moist in order to remain healthy. If your mouth gets too dry, bacteria will begin to multiply. Bacteria will thrive in a dry environment. In fact, a condition known as “dry mouth” is related to an increase in oral health issues. People with dry mouths are more likely to develop cavities than those who can keep their mouths hydrated.
If bacteria continues to grow, it will eat away at the enamel, increasing the likelihood of cavities. When there is a weakness in the enamel, it will continue to grow without intervention. Additionally, those with dry mouths are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. When there are more bacteria in your mouth, there is more plaque. Plaque is a sticky, white bacteria that clings to the surface of your teeth. If you do not remove plaque properly, it will continue to build and destroy your enamel and your gums. For example, your gums will begin to recede over time due to plaque buildup.
A dry mouth is what causes bad breath. Increased bacteria is directly correlated with bad breath. For example, dry mouth is what causes “morning breath.” You go all night without drinking water, which is when bacteria continue to grow.
Encourages Saliva Production
If your mouth is dry, it usually lacks saliva. This may not seem overly vital, but saliva is crucial for oral health. Saliva helps to neutralize bad bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, saliva aids the “remineralization” process. When you eat sugary foods, it forms an acid that attacks your enamel. The acid removes vital minerals from your enamel, weakening it. Saliva also has minerals that work to restore enamel.
Drinking water helps promote saliva production. Hydration is key to keeping your mouth healthy and full of saliva.
Rinses Food Particles
Regardless of how thoroughly you chew your food, you leave tiny food particles behind. This is why it is vital to brush and floss your teeth as recommended. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the remaining food particles, creating acid that eats enamel. Unfortunately, this increases your chances of developing cavities or gingivitis.
When you drink water, it rinses your mouth and removes more food particles. This can help neutralize your mouth and reduce tooth decay.
If you want to improve your oral health, consider drinking more water.