How Drinking Water Can Improve Your Oral Health
Our bodies are mostly made of water. In order to maintain the right amount, we need to have a steady intake of water in order to replace water lost from dehydration and other processes. The importance of water is seen in that our lives depend on having enough water every day. The mouth is also dependent on having clean water to maintain healthy teeth.
Water and BacteriaYour mouth naturally has about 700 different kinds of bacteria in it. Some of it is good and some are bad. The good bacteria will normally keep the bad bacteria in balance in a healthy mouth.
Every day, bacteria forms on your teeth. It is nearly invisible and it is called plaque. The bad bacteria produce an acid whenever it comes in contact with sugar and carbs. The acid is what causes cavities and gum disease.
When you keep your mouth hydrated by drinking lots of water, you will have more saliva. The saliva helps to wash away the bacteria from your teeth and gums. It is your body's natural way to protect your teeth.
If you do not drink enough of the natural liquid refresher, you will have more dental problems. Without enough saliva, the bacteria will multiply and the acid will stay on your teeth longer. This will promote cavities. As many as 500 different medications promote dry mouth, and those who have it need to sip on water through the day to protect their teeth and brush more often.
Sugar and BacteriaEating a lot of sweets, or drinking sugary drinks for long periods enables the harmful bacteria to multiply and produce more acid. With each sugary bite or swig of a sugary drink, it enables the bacteria to produce acid for the next 20 minutes. Leaving the sugar on your teeth harms them because of the acid being produced. In addition to that acid, though, drinks such as fruit juices, sodas, coffee, etc., have their own acid. This adds to the harmful effects of the acid from the bacteria – creating cavities that much sooner.
When you drink water, instead of soda or fruit juice, you are properly hydrating yourself, and not getting the sugar that damages your teeth and gums. This makes it the ideal drink for your oral health. It also helps to prevent tooth decay and adds no calories.
The Importance of FluorideDrinking water is much better for your teeth than any other drink. Drinking tap water is even better than most bottled water because it contains fluoride. This mineral helps to protect your teeth and actually helps to rebuild them with the minerals supplied in your saliva. Most bottled water companies filter fluoride and other minerals out. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that you are not going to get enough to benefit your teeth by drinking most bottled water.
There are other ways to get fluoride if you have switched to bottled water or are using a filter in your home. This will help you to make sure that your children's dental health is good. You can get toothpaste with fluoride, or a dentist can put fluoride drops on your teeth.
Gum DiseaseAlthough cavities certainly provide a threat to your teeth, gum disease poses a much larger threat. Gum disease is caused by the same bacteria that cause cavities. Gum disease is also caused by the same acid, which irritates the gums. This causes inflammation in the gums and an immune reaction is started. The gums recede and more bacteria are enabled to enter the gums, which promotes more inflammation.
This is a non-stop problem unless it is treated by a dentist or periodontist. You cannot treat it yourself. The inflammation gets worse and starts destroying your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and the jawbone. Eventually, your teeth will become loose and even fall out.
If you already have a mild case of gum disease, which you will know if your gums bleed when you brush or floss them, and your gums will also be inflamed or redder than usual. At this stage, you can brush your teeth twice a day and floss, and this will usually remove it.
The Advantages of WaterIn addition to protecting your oral health, drinking water instead of sugary drinks can also help to protect your overall health. Not only will water help you keep the pounds off and possibly lose weight, but it may also help you avoid diabetes. People who drink two sodas or sugary beverages each day are 26 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
If your teeth and gums are not in good shape and you need dental care to get healthy teeth or to restore your smile, you can get treatment from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental treatment for better oral health, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.