Heatstroke and Your Mouth: What You Need to Know

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Heatstroke is a serious medical emergency that can affect you in more ways than you may think. Surprisingly, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and your oral care are connected. During a heatstroke or heat exhaustion, your body will exhibit various symptoms like dizziness and headaches. But it is the dehydration caused by heatstroke that can wreak havoc to your oral health. Dehydration can reduce saliva production and cause a whole host of problems to your mouth.

Why is Saliva Important?

Even after a successful recovery from a heatstroke, your teeth can still suffer consequences from the illness. The most obvious effect of dehydration is your mouth’s ability to produce saliva. Saliva plays an important role in oral hygiene. It clears unwanted bacteria and microbes from the mouth. It also has proteins and minerals that help protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.

The Consequences of Dehydration

When the body is dehydrated, saliva production decreases and your oral cavity is more susceptible to issues like cavities and gum disease. Every day we eat foods that contain acids and that acid attacks tooth enamel. Without enough saliva to clear away the acid, you can suffer from irreversible tooth erosion. Dehydration can also cause dry mouth. The lack of saliva in a dry mouth sufferer is fertile ground for bacteria to grow. Dry mouth can even exacerbate already existing oral issues. Several conditions can develop due to dehydration caused by heatstroke:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Gingivitis
  • Teeth appear dull and spotted
  • Infection of the mouth
  • Bad breath

 

Don’t let your oral care be an afterthought. Contact your dentist immediately to ensure the health of your teeth and gums after a heatstroke.

Schedule an appointment today by giving us a call or booking an appointment online.

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Highland Oaks Family Dentistry

700 North Tarrant Pkwy, #102
Keller, TX 76248
(817) 520-5255