Posted on: 22 January 2020
When you exercise, especially during summer weather, your body becomes dehydrated. Dehydration has many debilitating symptoms, including lethargy, headaches and nausea. However, these are just some of the symptoms. Dry mouth is also the result of dehydration, and unless you rehydrate quickly following a bout of exercise, your teeth could suffer long-term damage.
Saliva Is Important to Your Oral Health
Although saliva seems to be an icky thing that you sometimes find deposited on your pillow when you wake up, it is crucial to your oral health. Thus, once you sweat out too much of your fluid during exercise, your saliva production decreases, leaving your teeth unprotected in the following ways.
1. Your Immune System Is Weakened
Do you know why dogs lick their wounds? The white blood cells in saliva are more powerful antibacterial agents than the white blood cells in the rest of your body. In other words, their antibacterial weapons are superior. One of the ways that the white cells in your saliva combat oral bacteria is by shooting out nets that trap and kill bacterial organisms.
However, if you become dehydrated, your saliva production decreases and lowers the number of white cells you have at your defense. As a result, bacteria may run rampant on your gums and teeth.
2. You Lack Defense Against Acidity
If you lack the white cells to kill the bacteria in your mouth, then your teeth are at risk of damage from the acid that bacteria produce. After metabolizing the sugars that you eat, oral bacteria produce acid. This acid eats away at your enamel. If there are more bacterial organisms in your mouth, then there is also more acid. Saliva also neutralizes the acid.
3. Your Teeth Become Brittle
Saliva also contains calcium, which your body uses to strengthen your teeth. In that period just after exercise when your mouth is dry, your teeth are not getting the minerals they need. As a result, they are more susceptible to the acids produced by bacteria.
4. Your Mouth Harbours Food Particles
If you tend to snack just after exercise and your mouth is dry, your teeth and gums may harbour more food particles than normal. This is because saliva also acts as a means of flushing food particles into your stomach after you have eaten. The less saliva you have, the less effective your ability to keep your mouth particle-free. The bacteria in your mouth will then have more food to eat.
Remember, saliva is your friend when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. After exercise, make sure you rehydrate as quickly as possible.
To learn more, contact a dentist.Share