When the weather is hot, you probably don’t have a hard time remembering to stay hydrated. Picking up a bottle of cold water or a glass of iced tea goes hand in hand with summertime. During the winter months, on the other hand, you face cold dry air, salty holiday snacks, and alcoholic drinks that can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to bad breath and increased levels of oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Your Farmington Hills dentist discusses some of the causes of wintertime dry mouth and offers suggestions for keeping yourself healthy and hydrated.
Heating Your Home, Drying Your Mouth
You’ve probably noticed the effects of dry, heated air during the winter months. Hair that crackles and stands up when you brush it, skin that feels dry and itchy, and the static electricity shocks you get when you walk around the house in warm socks. It’s no surprise that pumping warmed air into your home drastically reduces the amount of moisture in the air. Breathing in that dry air causes the mucous membranes and the salivary glands to decrease production, causing the nose, throat, and mouth to dry out. Your best bets for staying warm and hydrated include drinking plenty of water and using a humidifier to increase the moisture content of the air in your home. Don’t have a humidifier? Simmer water in a large pot on your stovetop.
Holiday Goodies and Dry Mouth
When you consider the sodium-heavy casseroles, appetizers, nuts, cheese spreads, and crackers that people tend to serve at holiday get-togethers, it’s no wonder dry mouth becomes a problem during this time of year. Excessive salt intake causes your body to dehydrate, leading to dry mouth. Unfortunately, many holiday partygoers satisfy their thirst with alcoholic beverages that further dehydrate the body and cause dry mouth. The best strategy for combatting dry mouth while still enjoying all the fun at your family or office get-together rests on making smart choices:
- When it comes to appetizers, avoid chips, dips, and pretzels and fill your plate with crunchy vegetable and real cheese.
- Eat a few bites of your grandma’s casserole but have a bigger portion of the roast turkey instead.
- Enjoy a glass of wine or a beer but alternate alcoholic beverages with water, to help you stay hydrated while you have a good time.
Stay Hydrated and Visit Your Dentist
If you have chronic issues with dry mouth or bad breath even when you drink plenty of water and take good care of your teeth and gums, discuss this with your dentist at your next checkup and cleaning. Call the Comfort Dental Spa office at (248) 474-6434 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aziza Askari today. We serve patients from Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, Farmington Hills, and the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods.