A link Between Exercise and Poor Oral Health?

Running

According to research recently reported in The New York Times published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports that too much exercise could have a negative effect on our teeth. We all know that regular exercise is good, but new research suggests that too much exercise could, in fact, be bad for our oral health! 

 

Why might this be? Well during heavy exercise, salivary flow decreases, as this study showed. Saliva has a protective factor that helps prevent tooth decay, so if there is less of it, the teeth are more susceptible to cavities. Furthermore, the study also tested the pH of the athletes saliva, and it showed that prolonged exercise causes the saliva to become alkaline. Alkaline saliva promotes the development of tartar ( calculus) on the teeth.

So, if you, or your friends family members are professional athletes, distance runners, or work-out for long periods of time, regular dental visits are important! Furthermore, it is always best to drink water while exercising in order to stay hydrated, but also to help keep the pH of your mouth balanced and less dry. pH Neutral, non-flavored water is best during a workout. 

Regular exercise is great, but if you frequently train long hours, make sure you visit your dentist regularly so that any cavities can be diagnosed early!

 

Happy exercising,

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Dr. Frankel

“final stretch” by Pablo Manriquez is licensed under CC BY

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