As mentioned in previous articles, the arrival of summer may exacerbate dry mouth. Generally, in summer our body produces less saliva than in winter, and the high temperatures may lead to other factors that can worsen dry mouth. Therefore, summer is a dangerous time for oral health, especially for people who suffer from xerostomia. In this article we will explain why and how to prevent the worsening of dry mouth.
Why dry mouth gets worse in summer?
In summer, dehydration is a quite frequent condition. When you are dehydrated, your body does not work properly and cannot perform its vital functions. Besides the obvious thirst, dry mouth is one of the first signs of dehydration.
Poor oral hygiene
During summer, especially during the holidays, people change their habits and schedules. People travel, visit new places, and increase their frequency of eating on the go and dining out. Habits and schedules become messy and relaxed. One of the main effects of these relaxed habits is the lack of oral hygiene. This leads to increased plaque, inflammation of the gums and/or bad breath, that in people with dry mouth can cause tooth decay or gum infections.
Refreshing summer beverages
In summer, it is very common to enjoy sugary drinks, smoothies, or acidic fruit juices to fight the heat. Abuse of acidic (lemonade, orangeade…) or sugary (shakes, soft drinks) drinks can cause erosion of tooth enamel and cause cavities. In addition, the summer drinks are usually very cold and may cause tooth sensitivity.
In summer, and even more during the holidays, we often have an unbalanced diet. Eating out, at odd times, increasing our intake of fast food, unhealthy foods, or eating too little fresh fruit and vegetables may also affect the mouth’s balance and make the mouth dry.
Summertime healthy tips to relieve dry mouth
1- Drink water
We cannot stress enough about the benefits and the importance of drinking water, especially for people with xerostomia. Water is essential for salivation, in fact 99% of saliva is water. In summer it is important to stay hydrated, and for this it is recommended to drink between 2 to 3 liters of water throughout the day in order to replace fluids.
Remember that thirst is actually the first symptom of dehydration, so do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
In the summer heat, it is especially advisable to avoid alcohol because it causes further dehydration.
2 – Eat fruits and vegetables
Try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content. During summer you can enjoy a variety of delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables to keep your body hydrated and relieve dry mouth symptoms. Watermelon, melon, cucumber, and tomatoes are rich in vitamins, healthy, and high water content foods.
As we have said in other articles, avoid acidic fruits or rinse your mouth out with water immediately after eating them. You can also eat cheese or drink milk, which are alkaline and counteract the acidity of these fruits.
3 – Healthy snacking
Are you going on a trip and need snacks to eat along the way? Forget sweets, cookies, candies, or chips and choose instead delicious nuts, yogurt, or healthy raw vegetables such as celery, cucumber, carrots, radishes, and mushrooms. Did you know that raw mushrooms contain 95% water and a lot of protein, vitamins, and iron? Mushrooms can be a convenient snack that is much healthier than sweets or chips.
4 – Take care of your oral hygiene
During summer, you must maintain your oral hygiene habits and continue to use specific products for dry mouth. If you go traveling, pack them in smaller bottles. Because in the summertime, they are needed more than ever.