We all know about the benefits of exercising and how it can improve our overall health but what about our dental health.
Is exercising good for our dental health? The answer might surprise you.
Yes and no!
First the good news. According to a recent American study (Third National health and nutrition Examination Survey), those who exercised moderately five days a week, or at a high intensity three days a week, were at lower risk for gum disease, great for oral health and whole body health since the effects of gum disease don’t only affect the mouth. Gum disease can cause a whole host of both oral health and whole body problems including bad breath, swollen, painful gums, tooth loss, certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke. You can read our article on healthy gums here
Now here’s the bad news, firstly our breathing or more precisely how we breath when we exercise. When training at high intensity to tend to breath heavily. Heavy breathing tends to cause people to mouth breathe, or only breathe with an open mouth. This reduces saliva production and makes the mouth dry. A dry mouth is the perfect place for dangerous bacteria to thrive and cause decay. When that happens, it puts you at significantly higher risk for tooth decay and oral infections, since bacteria can’t be flushed from your mouth as effectively.
The other issue is sports drinks. Even though sports drinks do have their benefits, they’re also packed with tooth damaging ingredients and high levels of sugar. Sports beverages are a great option to help your body recover after exercise, but between the sugar and acid, they’re a recipe for decay plus when you add in the mouth breathing you’ll likely have a harder time clearing the sugary substances from your teeth.
Drink plenty of water while working out and maybe cut down on the sugary sports drink!
Chew some Sugar-free gum when done working out: This is an old standby when it comes to freshening your breath, but it can also be useful for increasing saliva production and getting the pH balance back to the correct levels.
If you’re worried that your exercising might be affecting your dental health, why not book in for a check-up, a great body deserves a great smile!