How Extreme Exercise Affects the Teeth
Exercise can be one of the healthiest things you can do for your body, but it may not be as good for your teeth. According to a recent study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, runners and triathletes were at a higher risk of cavities than other people. Those who spent on average of nine hours a week training were at the highest risk of having tooth decay.
The researchers determined that the exercise was not necessarily the problem but rather some of the athletes’ habits. Athletes tend to breathe through their mouths in order to get more oxygen into their bodies while training hard. This can cause their mouths to become excessively dry and create better environments for bacteria to flourish. To make matters worse, athletes often rehydrate with sports drinks, energy drinks and oral rehydrating solutions rather than water. These drinks contain critical electrolytes that water does not, but they also contain high levels of sugars and acid, which contribute to enamel erosion.
You do not have to cut back on workouts to protect your smile, but you may need to change a few of your habits. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout to keep your body well-hydrated, as well as your mouth wet. If you have an energy bar, sports drink or energy gel, rinse thoroughly with water to dilute the acids and the sweet debris. When you brush, use fluoride toothpaste to harden the enamel. Call us today to learn more about preventing tooth decay or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
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