Does Humidity Harm Your Oral Health?
Posted on 9/10/2018 by Thomas Mahar
|Ideally, oral health should be maintained by good oral hygiene practices such as brushing your teeth regularly and flossing. However, despite the advancement in dental hygiene products over the past few decades, oral health problems are still common.
The reason for this is because oral health is affected by several other factors – aside from poor oral hygiene – which ranges from eating the wrong foods to even the weather. Here, we will focus on the effects of weather, specifically humidity, on your oral health.
What is Humidity?Humidity refers to the amount of moisture that is found in the atmosphere (air). Humidity is measured in levels, and it can be high (high moisture content in the air) such as in hot weather, low (low moisture content in the air) such as in cold weather, or average (not too low and not too high). Two of these levels, high and low humidity, affect the physiological functioning of the body, which consequently affects the oral health. How does humidity affect oral health?
High Humidity Leads to Dehydration and Dry MouthIn humid weather, such as during summers, the amount of water in the air is high. As a result, the effectiveness of sweating is reduced (sweat does not easily evaporate into the air). Due to this, the body works even hard to cool down, which means more sweating, and consequently, dehydration.
Dehydration reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth, which causes a build-up of plaque and oral bacteria. The increase in the level of oral bacteria leads to tooth decay, as well as other dental health problems such as bad breath.
Humid Weather Increases the Intake of Sugary BeveragesIn addition to causing dry mouth, humid weather increases the temptation to partake in beverages such as cold sodas, juices, and beer in an effort to keep the body cool. These beverages contain a lot of sugars, which can cause tooth decay.
Low Humidity Leads to Dehydrated Nasal and Throat CavitiesLow humidity also affects the body's function, and consequently, the oral health. During low-humid weather, there is less moisture in the air. As a result, the air we breathe in is dry, and the body must come up with ways to moisten it.
These include pulling moisture from the nasal and throat cavities. Unfortunately, these causes the cavities to become dry, which promotes the growth of bacteria that cause oral health problems.
Maintaining your oral health requires much more than just good oral hygiene practices. Get in touch with us today for more information on how you can improve your oral health.