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When Fitness Meets Dentistry: The Oral Health Risks of Exercise

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — broadparkdental @ 2:56 pm
A woman finishing her exercise routine, not worried about her oral health

Exercise is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, benefiting your body and your mental health in numerous ways. However, while you’re focused on breaking a sweat, you should also be aware of potential oral health risks. This is not to say that you should stop exercising. It’s a reminder that proper form and good practices can help you prevent an emergency dental appointment.

If you want to learn how your exercise routine might be affecting your oral health, continue reading.

Dehydration and Dry Mouth

Intense workouts often lead to increased breathing through the mouth, resulting in reduced saliva. Saliva is important for the health of your teeth as it neutralizes acids and prevents tooth decay. To counter this, stay hydrated during your workouts and consider chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow.

Sports Drinks

Many people who start fitness routines turn to energy drinks to boost performance. However, these beverages contain high levels of sugar and highly acidic chemicals. This can contribute to tooth erosion and cavities. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, opt for water to stay hydrated without compromising your dental health.

Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Stress and intensity during workouts can lead to bruxism (teeth grinding) and jaw clenching. Over time, this habit can cause tooth wear, fractures, and even jaw pain. If you notice signs of bruxism, such as jaw tightness or tooth sensitivity, give your dentist a call. They may recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth during intense exercise.

Salivary pH Changes

According to a study performed by the University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany, certain types of exercise can change the pH levels of your saliva. Alkaline saliva is thought to contribute to the development of tartar plaques on teeth and other problems. You can counteract this by maintaining a balanced diet including both acidic and alkaline foods and practicing good oral hygiene.

Balancing your fitness with your oral health is important for overall well-being. By being mindful of potential risks and taking proactive steps to mitigate them, you can continue enjoying the benefits of regular exercise without compromising your teeth. When in doubt, call your dentist. They may have more tips for helping you keep your muscles and your smile.

About the Practice

Dr. Jeremy Rudd and Dr. Shanna Howze are your new dental professionals at Broad Park Family Dentistry. They share a passion for helping people achieve bright, happy smiles and improve their overall health. They use the latest dental technology and techniques to ensure that your treatment is convenient and timely. To schedule an appointment, call (817) 473-6857 or visit the website to learn more and explore their services.

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