You may have seen different health trends that challenge you to drink a gallon of water a day. Or, you may have one of those cute containers that encourage you to drink a certain amount of water each hour. We are all aware of how vital water is to your body. It keeps our organs running and our blood moving. Without adequate water, we can become dehydrated and experience several health problems. At the very least, we know that water is essential to life.
Did you know that water is also important to your oral health? Water doesn’t just keep your body functioning, but it plays a valuable role in your oral hygiene. So, what does it do for your mouth?
Your Mouth Is A Delicate Environment
It can be hard to grasp how intricate our mouths are. We may think of them regarding their parts—teeth, tongue, gums, etc. However, it may not cross your mind to think of your mouth on a micro-level.
There are tiny bacteria that live in your mouth at all times. When we think of bacteria, most of us may assume that it is bad. However, there are both good and bad forms of bacteria. Usually, they cancel each other out in order for your mouth to stay healthy. Your oral hygiene and saliva are key factors in keeping the balance in your mouth.
Without good hygiene, a bacteria known as plaque will continue to build. Plaque clings to your teeth and will harden into tartar. One of the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease is plaque. It can wreak havoc on your mouth if you don’t take care of your teeth. On top of good hygiene, your saliva naturally works to neutralize this bacteria. Our office provides periodontal therapy to patients that suffer from gum disease.
Water is essential to helping this balance. Bacteria thrive in a dry environment, so lack of moisture can cause them to multiply. In fact, there is a condition called “dry mouth” that refers to a chronic lack of moisture in the mouth. People with dry mouths are more likely to develop gum disease or tooth decay because there is a lack of balance, causing decay.
Eating and Food Particles
No matter how well you chew your food, there will still be tiny food particles left in your mouth after you eat. Leftover food in your mouth presents a problem that can cause dental issues. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the food particles, helping them multiply. If you eat sugary foods, the bacteria will eat the sugar and form an acid. This acid can actually dissolve the enamel on your teeth. Unfortunately, this is how cavities begin. We provide dental fillings for patients with tooth cavities.
Water can help remove leftover food particles, reducing the chances of decay. Even if you don’t physically rinse your mouth, drinking water can still help get rid of food particles.
Also, if you stay hydrated, you will produce more saliva, which is essential for digestion. Saliva aids in breaking down your food. Not only does this help with swallowing your food, but it is also the first step in digestion.