Working out can help you strengthen your body, reduce stress, build muscle, sleep better, and improve your overall health. However, exercising regularly can also have some not-so-positive impacts on your oral health. Before you just headfirst into a new exercise routine, read on to learn about the ways it can impact your oral health as well as what you can do to protect your mouth from harm.
The Most Common Oral Health Issues Among Athletes
Sports drinks are often advertised as being a healthy way for athletes to replenish electrolytes after a long workout. While they are beneficial in helping your body refuel, energy drinks also contain large quantities of sugar and acid. One study even found that the level of acidity in these drinks is so high that it can wreak havoc on your pearly whites after only five days of consistent consumption.
Another common way that athletes unintentionally damage their oral health is by breathing through their mouths. It’s the go-to of many after an intense workout. Unfortunately, this causes your mouth to dry out. Dry mouth leads to a reduction in saliva flow, which creates the perfect environment for harmful oral bacteria to thrive and sharply raises your chances of developing cavities.
The Positive Impact of Exercise on Oral Health
Though exercise can be harmful to your oral health, it can also have a positive impact. According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Dentistry, regular exercise can lower your risk of gum disease. Since obesity has been associated with issues like hypertension and diabetes, having a healthy body mass index (BMI) can also contribute to strong teeth and gums.
How to Protect Your Smile While Exercising
Though there are many ways that exercise can damage your oral health, there are several things you can do to protect your mouth while you work out, including:
- Drink plenty of water – Instead of sports drinks, consume plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. It’s the best option for your oral health, and you can add a splash of lemon juice or a pinch of unprocessed salt to help you replenish electrolytes.
- Breathe through your nose – This will decrease your risk of getting cavities.
- Practice good oral hygiene – Brush your teeth at least twice and floss once per day to keep cavities and gum disease at bay.
- Wear an oral appliance – If you play contact sports like football or hockey, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from impact.
As you can see, doing the wrong things while you exercise can hurt your oral health. With these tips, you can protect your mouth while you work on improving your overall well-being!
About the Practice
Dr. Scott Parker and his talented team of Calimesa oral health professionals take pride in administering trustworthy, exceptional care to their patients. If you’re interested in improving your overall health through exercise, they can provide tips and guidance on how to avoid harming your mouth in the process. Do you want to set up an appointment or do you have questions about the relationship between exercise and oral health? If so, visit their website or call their office at (909) 795-6019.