Water for Oral Health Part 1 –Metabolizing Water for Tooth Benefits

Water is vital to our well-being. Our bodies are an average of 60% percent water. We benefit from its lubricating properties for our muscles and ligaments, the flushing of the digestive track and production of all our bodily fluids, and even boosts in immune system to fight disease and prevent infection. These important qualities also apply to our mouths. Water has a direct effect on the quality of our teeth and gums. Over this week, we’re going to discuss all the ways water can care for and aid in oral health. Let’s start with why drinking water and allowing it to absorb into your body is paramount.

Saliva Production
It’s important to take the recommended water drinking amounts seriously since our cells, including those of our gums, jaws, and teeth, need it. Additionally, dehydration attributes to many problems. 50-75% of Americans suffer from mild dehydration in the form of chronic headaches, joint pain, sleepiness, dry skin, and constipation. For our oral health, lack of water can lead to a decline in saliva production, resulting in dry mouth. The drier your mouth gets, the more prone to gingivitis, tooth decay, and infections such as thrush. For older adults, lack of saliva can also make wearing denture exceedingly uncomfortable or painful. When you choose water over sugary drinks, you give your mouth a chance to naturally care for itself.

Jaw Muscles’ Elasticity
Since muscles and tendons rely on hydration to remain flexible and work properly, they can be negatively affected by bad drinking habits. Your jaw isn’t an exception to this rule. Pain in the neck, jaw and ears can by symptoms of a lack of H2O.

Water Quality
There is a lot of controversy on the mineral contents of public water in the U.S. Harder water offers minerals, namely calcium and magnesium, to your body. Both of these in moderation and with other valuable nutrients can add strength to your teeth structures, jaw bones, and oral tissues. Additionally, if your community adds fluoride to the water then drinking lots of water will also strengthen your teeth’s enamel and reverse tooth decay.

Bottled water is typically a softer water option, since most spring water are low in minerals compared to mineral water. Some bottled water companies distill their product, which means they remove all the minerals, again offering soft water. On the other hand, some companies bottle tap water that can be harder and often has a better taste. You’ll have to read labels to see which companies offer your preference. Regardless of whether you drink bottled or out-of-the-faucet water in the U.S., quantity is as important as quality to maintain hydration for the sake of your mouth.

Do Right By Your Mouth
With all the above in mind, consider your current water intake. Eight 8 ounce glasses are a minimum requirement for an average adult, but other factors can increase how much you should drink. Pregnancy, an active lifestyle, weight management, high temperatures, and illness are all reasons to increase your fluids each day. No matter what, we encourage you to drink plenty of it for the sake of your mouth. In addition to metabolizing water and reaping the benefits, water passing through your mouth can also help with bad breath, strengthen enamel, and resist tooth decay. We’ll take a look at how in part two of this series on Friday.

Read part 2 of Water for Oral Health here.

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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