How Does Exercising Affect Your Oral Health?

Have you ever wondered how exercising can affect your oral health? The answer may surprise you! Learn how to protect your smile from harmful habits that could make your workout detrimental to your oral health. Before exploring the drawback of working out, first, we will dig into the dental benefits.

Excercise Reduces The Risk of Periodontitis

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published a study in 2005 where they examined individuals who don’t smoke, formerly smoked, and currently smoked to see how exercise affected each of the groups. The finding from this 10-year study concluded that individuals who regularly exercise are less likely to have periodontal disease. They found that former smokers who exercised moderately 5 times a week or vigorously 3 times a week were 75% less likely to have periodontitis.

Periodontitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue and bone loss around your teeth and is commonly known as gum disease. Reducing the risk of this disease not only promotes a healthier mouth, it also lessens the risk of serious diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Protecting Your Teeth While Working Out

Working out does help reduce the risk of periodontitis, but it may be surprising that working out is not 100% beneficial to your teeth. Some workout habits can contribute to tooth decay or even the growth of harmful bacteria. Read below to see how you can prevent the damaging effect of some workout habits.

Staying hydrated while being active is essential, but what you choose to refuel with may be harming your teeth. Sports drinks and energy drink containing electrolytes are often used by athletes during vigorous workouts to stay hydrated. Using these to refuel can take a major toll on your teeth.

The Academy of General Dentistry published a clinical journal that found that consistent consumption of sports drinks or energy drinks can damage your teeth after just 5 days of consumption. A habit that contributes to the damage is how we choose to drink while being active. Many people choose to take sips of their drink throughout their workout. This method frequently exposes the sugars and acids that are found in these drink. Drinking sports drinks or energy drinks while working our makes your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay for this reason.

To prevent tooth decay, it is best to limit the amount of these drinks that you consume and drink water when you work out. Drinking water will refuel your body and keep you from experience dry mouth at the gym.

During an intense exercise, people tend to take heavy breathes through their open mouth. Breathing like this dries out your mouth and reduces the saliva flow that is in your mouth. This creates the ideal environment to promote the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. The growth of this bacteria can be lessened by breathing through your nose during workouts. The Buteyko Breathing Method can be used during a workout to control your breathing and make it easier to breathe through your nose.

Following these suggestions and visiting your dentist regularly will promote better oral health and a healthier body. Call OC Healthy Smiles today at (714) 545-0484 to schedule your appointment today!


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Dr. Nguyen and his award-winning Costa Mesa, CA dentists, Costa Mesa, CA cosmetic dentists and Costa Mesa, CA pain-free dentists offer 5-star rated and comfortable dental care for children and adults, including teeth cleanings, dental implants, veneers, teeth whitening, Invisalign and more. We are your all-in-one dental office in Costa Mesa, CA!
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