Exercising has numerous positive impacts on your health. It helps with stress relief, muscle strength, combating health conditions, and loads more. What many patients do not know is how exercising can affect their dental health. Believe it or not, exercising can cause problems with your teeth that you may not be aware of.
During intense exercise people will often be breathing through their mouths. When people are mouth breathing, it will dry out the mouth and reduce the flow of saliva. A dry mouth is an environment where bacteria will increase and grow. People that suffer from dry mouth are very much at risk for cavities and so heavy exercise can put you more at risk for tooth decay if you are breathing through your mouth.
Additionally, when people are exercising heavily they often are drinking sports drinks. Many sports drinks can erode the teeth and cause major damage. If you are not careful, your mouth may need a makeover. They will erode the teeth not only if there is sugar in them but also because they are very acidic. Anytime the mouth is an acidic environment it creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause cavities.
What’s more is that while working out, most people tend to take sips throughout the workout. This is constantly bathing the teeth in sugars and acids, which will make the teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you are going to enjoy a sports drink it is much better if you drink it and be done with it, do not continuously take small sips. After you finish the sports drink, be sure to drink some water to neutralize the acidity level in the saliva to protect your teeth from cavities and other damage.
While the above details negative impacts on your teeth that can happen while exercising, keep in mind there are significant health benefits to your teeth and your entire body from the action of exercising. A study in the Journal of Dentistry found that exercising regularly can actually lower the risk of gum disease for people. Also by having a healthy body mass index (BMI), the mouth is a lot healthier. This is because the higher the BMI, the more likely you are to have hypertension and diabetes which both are known to put you at risk for poor oral health.
While exercising, be sure that you are drinking water in addition to any sports drinks. Another alternative to water and sports drinks is coconut water. Coconut water has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps to balance insulin and glucose in the blood stream. By being aware of how your dental health is affected by exercise, you can avoid risk factors and keep your mouth happy as well as your body.
By keeping up with a regular dental routine you will be able to stay on track with your oral health. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka, Dr. Mimi Jeon, and Dr. Stephanie Smith at 215.568.6222. We look forward to meeting you soon!