Most of us know that we need to protect our skin from excessive sun exposure. But what about our teeth? Most of us have probably never considered whether or not sunburning our teeth is possible, though it most certainly is. As with the skin, excessive sun exposure can be very harmful to the mouth and teeth, so what can we do to protect our mouths? The following list considers the benefits and detriments of sun exposure as it relates to the teeth, and provides some useful suggestions for protecting our mouths from the sun.
The first step to guarding against burning your teeth and mouth is to take an assessment of your current hygiene routine. For example, if you whiten your teeth you will want to understand and follow all the instructions to the letter. If you bleach your teeth with anything UV-related, make sure you refrain from sun exposure. Conversely, you can protect your lips with UV resistant chapstick and drink water as much as possible. The latter helps you stay hydrated, which also reduces the chances of your mouth getting burned.
What Happens if you Burn your Teeth?
Of all the places in your mouth that could potentially be sunburned, burning your teeth is the most serious. If this occurs, make an appointment with your dentist immediately. Keep in mind that burns degrade teeth and cause a host of other dental issues. Upon your visit, your dentist will be able to provide you with some remedies for the burn and resulting pain.
It’s Not All Bad: Vitamin D and Teeth
Some studies have shown that vitamin D, which is absorbed by the body through sun exposure, can potentially reduce many of the risks associated with periodontal disease. This disease can cause irreversible bone damage and tooth loss. What’s more, many of these studies also show that subjects experiencing sufficient bone loss and calcium deficiencies are typically vitamin D deficient. The takeaway is that there is an obvious correlation between the two.
Periodontal problems promote the production of cytokines, which occur as the result of inflammation and can cause a plethora of issues throughout the body. Vitamin D guards against this by stifling cytokine production, which could potentially reduce the risks associated with periodontal disease. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D will not only help your teeth and gums, it will guard against a range of other potentially life-threatening issues as well.