Extreme Exercise and Your Oral Health

Extreme Exercise and Your Oral Health

We all know that exercise is good for your body. However, too much of a good thing may not be so good for your smile, according to new research. A new study published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science,” found that athletes and those who exercise intensely and frequently were more likely to suffer from poor dental health. Researchers evaluated 35 triathletes and another 35 more sedentary participants for signs of tooth decay, enamel erosion, cavities and similar dental issues.

Although athletes tend to consume more sports bars, rehydrating solutions and rehydrating gels than the average couch potato, these sugary snacks and drinks were not believed to be responsible for the increased risk. Instead, the chemical composition of the athletes’ saliva actually changed from the excessive exercise, leaving teeth more susceptible to bacteria activity. The pH level of their saliva increased and became more alkaline, a condition associated with greater plaque deposits. Heavier plaque deposits translate to a higher bacterial load, where this leads to more bacteria attacking the teeth and gums.

You do not need to cut your workout schedule in order to avoid these dental problems, but you may need to take a few extra steps in your daily dental routine. Brush and floss properly after each meal, drink plenty of fluoridated water and skip the sugary energy drinks, gels and bars whenever possible. Dr. Frame can help you find other personalized ways to combat sports-related dental problems, which can include mouth guards, dental sealants and other preventive treatments. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Frame, our Santa Clara dentist.

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