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How Exercise Affects Teeth

Exercise TeethIt may seem as though dental health would correspond frequently with the overall health of the individual. Yet, according to recent research, people who exercise regularly have an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

 

A study of the 2012 Olympians found that the athletes produced less saliva, which is a cleansing agent for the bacteria in the mouth. Their saliva also contained higher levels of alkaline that can neutralize valuable proteins in that saliva. The alkaline was highest during actual workouts. This study was controlled against participants with minimal or no exercise habits.

 

A common observation in the wake of this news was that athletes and people who engage in lots of exercise drink sugary sports drinks, a rather obvious culprit in poor oral health. Yet, there were no conclusive findings to that end. Simply put, physical exertion can have a minimizing effect on the way the mouth cleans itself.

 

If you play lots of sports or if you are consistently recreational, you should understand the dental risks involved. There are steps you can take to limit your exposure, from actively brushing and flossing to simply drinking more water during your workouts. Excessive dry mouth is a common contributor to tooth decay, as oral bacteria thrive in a dry climate. You should minimize the intake of sports drinks, or eliminate them altogether. Get regular checkups, also. Many of the Olympic athletes in the study were not on a dental schedule.

 

If you have questions about how to preserve your oral health while maintaining an active lifestyle, schedule an appointment with our dentist

 

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