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How Does Exercise Affect Oral Health?

May 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — peeryfamily @ 12:37 am
person smiling and exercising

Regular exercise is a great way to improve your physical fitness and overall well-being. It can strengthen your body, build muscle, reduce stress, and promotes better sleep. However, it’s important to be aware that exercising regularly can also have some effects on your oral health. Read on to learn more about the potential impacts of exercise on your oral health and how you can safeguard your mouth from potential harm.

The Most Common Oral Health Issues Among Athletes

Sports drinks are commonly promoted as a healthy choice for athletes to replenish electrolytes post-workout. While they can help restore your body’s energy, it’s important to be aware of their potential impact on your oral health.

These drinks often contain high amounts of sugar and acid, which can have detrimental effects on your teeth. In fact, a study has shown that the acidity level in these beverages is so pronounced that it can cause significant damage to your teeth in as little as five days of regular consumption.

Athletes also often unknowingly harm their oral health by breathing through their mouths, especially after a strenuous workout. This habit can result in dry mouth, as mouth breathing reduces saliva flow. Unfortunately, a decrease in saliva provides an ideal environment for harmful oral bacteria to flourish, significantly increasing the risk of cavities.

The Positive Impact of Exercise on Oral Health

While exercise can potentially have negative effects on oral health, it also offers some positive impacts. A study published in the Journal of Dentistry in 2005 revealed that regular exercise can decrease the risk of gum disease.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) through exercise can contribute to strong teeth and gums. This is because obesity has been linked to conditions like hypertension and diabetes, which can affect oral health.

How to Protect Your Smile While Exercising

To safeguard your oral health during exercise, consider taking the following measures:

  • Practice good oral hygiene – Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once daily.
  • Wear an oral appliance – Wear a mouthguard during contact sports to protect your teeth.
  • Drink plenty of water – Choose water over sports drinks for optimal oral health. Add lemon juice or a pinch of unprocessed salt for electrolyte replenishment.
  • Breathe through your nose – Doing this reduces your tooth decay risk.

Improper exercise habits can have negative effects on your oral health. By following these tips, you can safeguard your oral health while focusing on enhancing your overall well-being!

About the Practice

Residents of Lynchburg and surrounding communities can trust the experienced team at Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry, led by Dr. James M. Peery III, Dr. Samuel E. Woolwine III, and Dr. James M. Peery Jr. They are available to provide valuable advice and assistance in maintaining oral health while engaging in exercise. To schedule an appointment or inquire about the connection between exercise and oral health, contact Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry at (434) 847-5331 or visit their website.

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