Those of us who consider ourselves something other than world class athletes probably don’t worry about dehydration that much, but because some of its symptoms can often be mistaken for something else, we might actually be dealing with dehydration more often than we realize. And if we already live with chronic dry mouth, dehydration can cause our symptoms to flare up.
Dehydration happens when we’re losing more fluids than we’re taking in. It can especially affect older adults, due to certain medications that come with aging, as well as the fact that as we age, we naturally have a lower volume of water in our bodies. It can also be harder for an older person to sense their thirst as well as a younger counterpart.
Dehydration can be caused by excessive sweating, as well as by vomiting, diarrhea, or an elevated fever.
Mild Symptoms of Dehydration
If you notice any of these dehydration symptoms after a long day out in the sun, vigorous exercise, or after taking a certain medication, you should try to rehydrate ASAP:
- Feeling extremely thirsty
- Peeing less than usual
- Dark colored urine
Severe Symptoms of Dehydration
If you mistake some of the above symptoms for simply not getting enough sleep and ignore them, they can eventually turn into something more severe:
- Rapid heartbeat
If you or anyone around you is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to get medical help right away, as just drinking more fluids may not be enough at this stage.
Dealing With Dehydration
Whether you’re an older adult, someone who often works out hard, or you live at high altitude or somewhere where it gets pretty hot, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Remember, once you start feeling thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated. Reaching for water is usually your best bet, as caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, or tea can actually pull water from your body and make your dehydration symptoms worse.
While dry mouth can be a temporary symptom of dehydration, the chronic condition of dry mouth can be exacerbated by even mild dehydration. Sipping on water throughout the day is one key way to help keep both issues — dehydration and dry mouth — at bay, but for when those dry mouth symptoms start to get in the way of your busy schedule, consider adding Biotène products to your life. Biotène is the No. 1 recommended dry mouth brand by dentists and the Biotene Oral Rinse provides symptom relief that lasts for up to four hours1.
1 As measured in a 28-day clinical study