Most people know how vital water is to your overall health. It is essential for keeping you hydrated and your body functioning. However, you may not realize how vital water is to your oral health. Water performs many valuable functions for your mouth as well as your body.
In fact, one way that you can improve your oral health is to increase your water intake. Along with brushing and flossing your teeth, drinking more water can help minimize tooth decay and gum disease. Most water contains essential vitamins and minerals that help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Water Reduces Bacteria
Water can help reduce harmful bacteria that reside in your mouth. Hearing “bacteria” may sound like a bad thing; however, there are some good bacteria. Water helps keep a balance between good and bad bacteria.
Water creates a better oral environment. When your mouth is hydrated, it makes it more difficult for harmful bacteria to multiply.
Water Flushes Food Particles
Drinking water flushes leftover food particles that remain after eating. Any food that stays in your mouth can rot and decay. Not only does this cause bad breath, but it can also cause tooth decay and gum disease.
The bacteria that live in your mouth will eat the leftover food particles. When bacteria break down food, they create acid. This acid will destroy and erode the enamel. Unfortunately, this is the beginning stage of tooth decay. Once the enamel erodes away, it cannot be replaced.
The more food particles that remain in your mouth, the more bacteria will develop. If there are more bacteria, you have a higher chance of tooth decay and gum disease.
Water Increases Saliva Production
Another way that water is beneficial is through increasing saliva production. In fact, saliva is vital to your oral health. Saliva helps prevent and reduce tooth decay. On top of keeping your mouth moist, saliva neutralizes the acid from harmful bacteria.
Water keeps your mouth moist and hydrated. With an increase in saliva, you are less likely to have a condition called “dry mouth.” As it sounds, dry mouth is when your mouth does not produce enough saliva. Patients with dry mouths are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease.
This is because harmful bacteria thrive in a dry environment. As the bacteria multiply, your teeth will collect more plaque, which causes cavities and gum disease. However, water can help reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth.
Saliva is necessary for chewing and swallowing. Without it, eating becomes very hard or impossible. As your teeth physically break down food, saliva breaks it down chemically. Additionally, saliva is one of the first stages of digestion. Saliva contains chemicals that are vital for digestion. When you drink more water, it helps increase the amount of saliva you produce, which is incredibly beneficial.