The atmosphere does carry some extreme changes when living in the desert, and especially during specific times of the year. Summers are wickedly hot. Winters can be mild during the day and freezing at night. Then there’s monsoon season, where temperatures soar with humidity and the rains don’t let up until potential flooding disasters occur. All of this plays a role on our teeth, believe it or not. Our bodies respond to stress, and as our mouths are the centerpiece for most complications within the body, it’s important to take a closer look.
The Changes That Can Occur
Just as cruising along in the desert seems like the most pleasurable experience for ourselves and our smiles, infections can reside in the mouth without us even knowing it. The ultimate dry air that prevails during half of the year in desert environs could leave us dehydrated, tired, irritable, and prone to inflammation of the mouth.
Our food habits also change as a result of living in dry air. We might choose saltier and sweeter food and beverages to balance out our electrolytes. This impacts the teeth, if left unattended. Our fresh water intake might not match our bodily needs and output of sweat, therefore leaving our mouths and bodies vulnerable to illnesses. Saliva flow gets halted when there isn’t enough production of re-hydrating fluids. The largest organ in our bodies, the skin, takes on a much drier tone and this means cracks around the mouth as well.
Since our teeth are susceptible to every action from chewing to biting to drinking to smoking, the changes that occur in our teeth might look something like this:
–Dry mouth – This is not just an annoying symptom; it’s a condition that can lead to major health problems if left untreated. Lack of saliva production can impact the digestion of food. Saliva not only keeps your mouth wet, it also helps prevent tooth decay and controls bacteria. With dry mouth, you may develop mouth sores in addition to cavities.
–Allergic conditions – Whether year-round or mainly in the Spring season, allergens from desert dry air can cause canker sores and ulcers in the mouth. Again, saliva production is low during allergy season, therefore the bacterial enzymes needed to prevent tooth decay and gum disease are reduced dramatically.
–Achy teeth – As with the allergic conditions above, achy and sensitive teeth require a thorough dental evaluation to see what is the root cause. There might be other symptoms and conditions that form when decay is present, and traveling around in the dry air will only make the situation worse, especially if you are speaking or eating outside.
Dental Treatment Success
Living in the desert is a choice made by many people. Caring for their dental health needs to be a priority, as the environment plays a role in whether or not their teeth remain solid and white for a lifetime. Oral health offers clues about your overall health. The connection between diseases of the mouth could stem to other areas of the body, if left untreated. Residing in the desert, while offering significant benefits such as countless days of sunshine, can wreak havoc on your teeth. At Larson Dental in Prescott Valley, AZ, Dr.’s Kelly and Seth Larson will work wonders for your smile. Their professional team will provide tips on desert air teeth survival, and offer treatments for any oral care you may need. Visit their office for a thorough consultation.