How to look after your teeth and gums while you exercise
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and longevity, no questions asked. But do you know how it can affect your teeth?
We all know that if we’re not running correctly, we could injure our joints or knees. What else should we be of when we exercise? We’re unpacking how exercise can impact your teeth and how you can keep on top of it.
The Bad News
A study at University of Heidelberg raised some concerns about the effect of high impact training on oral health.
The study looked at the oral health of 35 competitive athletes and 35 non-athletes, and found that athletes had a higher number of cavities compared to the control group. Why that was? The study concluded that the probable cause was a combination of sports drinks consumption and open-mouth breathing. Yes, all that dryness makes ripe ground for bacteria.
The Good News
Not all news is bad though. Another study published in the Journal of Dentistry back in 2005 showed a correlation between exercise and lowered rates of periodontitis. Exercising as little as three times a week can put you at a 33 per cent lower risk of developing periodontitis.
What Can You Do
Don’t let fear stop you from staying healthy and in good shape. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure you’re mouth-wise when you exercise:
- Breathe through your nose – this ensures good saliva flow in your mouth, so less cavities on the long term.
- Hydrate the right way – you don’t need to be drinking sports drinks. Water or coconut water have all you need to stay hydrated.
Floss, brush, have regular check-ups – if you’re taking good care of your teeth and have regular check-ups, you can prevent a lot of problems. If you’re an avid exerciser, mention that to your dentist, and even consider having more frequent check-ups.
So, while you get into shape, spare a thought to how you can do it well, so your teeth and mouth are in as good shape as the rest of you.
Sources: The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
British Journal of Sports Medicine