woman-faintedOrlando Dentist reviews heat stroke and dental health

Summer is coming very soon and the heat is greater than ever. With the effects of climate change, temperatures all over the world are increasing, and millions of people are suffering physically, mentally and even financially. One of the most serious complications that the heat can bring is heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. This medical emergency often leads to death if not addressed immediately.

How Does Heat Stroke Affect Dental Health?

While dental health is the least of your worries when you suffer heat stroke, once you have recovered from the illness, it may have repercussions on your teeth. Heat stroke may be caused by or lead to dehydration, which also affects the saliva production of the body. With the lack of saliva, the mouth becomes more exposed to bacterial infections and you may develop oral mucositis, gum disease and tooth decay.

If you did have a heat stroke and recovered successfully, make it a point to visit our dental clinic on Vineland Road in Orlando, FL. Our dentist Dr. Sangalang will observe whether dehydration has caused any major problems in your teeth and gums. You will be given treatment suggestions and home care instructions to ensure that these effects are reversed.

Heat Stroke and Its Symptoms

Heat stroke can strike at any moment, which makes it similar to a cerebrovascular accident, commonly known as stroke. The symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • throbbing headache
  • muscle cramps
  • palpitation
  • difficulty breathing
  • poor sweating
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • loss of consciousness

The body temperature of an individual suffering from heat stroke is around 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius, similar to convulsion. However, the heat is not caused by fever but rather by the body’s inability to cool down.

Risk Factors of Heat Stroke

You are at higher risk of getting a heat stroke if:

  1. You have a history of heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, fainting or heat syncope, and heat exhaustion.
  2. You are aged 50 and above.
  3. You do not drink plenty of water or have a history of dehydration.
  4. You are exposed to direct sunlight.
  5. You have a history of body temperature problems (hypothermia or hyperthermia).

Preventing Heat Stroke

If you are at high risk of getting a heat stroke or you are exposed in a very hot environment, here are some things you should do:

  • Drink lots of water, preferably cold.
  • Stay in a shaded area away from the direct heat of the sun.
  • Fan yourself if you have no access to an air-conditioned environment.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher to repel UV heat.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing to repel heat.
  • Wear a cap or hat.
  • Don’t exercise in an unshaded area.
  • Minimize fieldwork with open exposure to the sun.
  • When exhausted, replace water with a sports drink that helps replenish electrolytes. Lack of sodium in the body can increase the risk of heat stroke.

Summer is a wonderful time to go out and have fun, but if the heat of the sun can bring danger to the family, it’s better to stay indoors and keep on your air conditioning. In the event that you or a loved one do suffer from heat stroke, make sure you call 911 and get proper first aid treatment. After recovery, you may call us at (407) 351-3213 to get a dental exam and minimize the complications of heat stroke on your dental health.