We all know that we should exercise regularly to keep our bodies healthy. At our dental office in Sacramento, we also know that exercising can be beneficial for our smiles. However, just like too much exercise or improper form can lead to injuries or trouble with overall health, we also know that exercise may actually contribute to some oral health issues.
We don’t want to discourage anyone from exercising or create fear that working out will ultimately lead to dental problems. While there seems to be a correlation between athletes and tooth decay, we can pinpoint two reasons why.
Sports drinks are packed with ingredients that can help the body replenish what’s lost during intense exercise. However, some of those ingredients are known contributors of enamel erosion and tooth decay. For example, the acidity alone can quickly cause damage. In fact, according to an article published by the Academy of General Dentistry, tooth damage can occur after just five days of consuming sports drinks because they’re so acidic.
During any exercise, trainers and coaches alike will encourage you to practice proper breathing techniques to help reduce the risk of cramps and to make your workout as effective as possible. However, the majority of people breathe in and out of their mouths during exercise. Mouth breathing dries the mouth out and makes it an ideal place for damaging bacteria to thrive.
It’s Not All Bad News
Just because high intensity exercise over a prolonged period of time may lead to issues with your oral health, doesn’t mean you should quit your workout routine. According to research collected through the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), individuals who followed the government’s recommendations for physical activity were less likely to have gum disease. And that’s great news for both your mouth and your body. Gum disease can affect overall health and has been linked to serious health issues including increased risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke.
Whether you’re concerned about exercise affecting your oral health or even if you’re just looking for a dentist, we welcome you to call our Sacramento dental office to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to see our neighbors and keep them healthy.