Whether you enjoy being active or not, exercising plays a key role in keeping yourself healthy. However, recent studies reveal that working out can hurt your smile. In fact, there are a few different aspects of exercising that can harm your oral health and damage your teeth. Read on to find out how and tips for avoiding a visit to your South Burlington emergency dentist.
Decrease in Saliva
We’ve all experienced being parched after strenuous activity. If you regularly exercise, you’re probably very familiar with this uncomfortable sensation. Unfortunately, a dry mouth increases your risk of cavities. Your saliva strengthens the enamel and washes away plaque and bacteria that build up on your teeth. Without it, these particles are free to accumulate and burn though your weakened enamel to cause cavities unhindered.
Hydrating with Sports Drinks
Just because sports drinks contain electrolytes and nutrients doesn’t always mean they’re good for you. Many are highly acidic, which erodes the enamel and dramatically increases your risk of tooth decay. A recent study published in the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry found that it only takes five days of daily consumption for the acid in sports drinks to cause permanent damage to the enamel.
Teeth Grinding & Jaw Clenching
High-intensity workouts and demanding sports stress the entire body, including your mouth. This can easily result in teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Over time, the extra pressure on your teeth can wear them down, leaving them vulnerable to cavities, discoloration, chips, and fractures. Stress on the jaw can lead to jaw soreness and TMJ disorder.
Sports Injuries & Dental Emergencies
As fun as sports are, they can also be very dangerous. An elbow to the face, a blow to the mouth, or a collision with another player are all major threats to your teeth, especially during close-contact, high-speed activities. In the blink of an eye, you could find yourself with a chipped, cracked, or knocked-out tooth! According to the American Dental Association, more that 5 million teeth are knocked out every year, most during sports activities. It’s estimated that athletes have a 33-56% chance of receiving an orofacial injury or dental emergency during their playing career.
How to Keep Yourself & Your Smile Healthy
Thankfully, there are precautions you can take to keep your smile safe while you stay healthy and enjoy your favorite exercises, including:
- Drink plenty of plain water in order to stay hydrated without washing your teeth with acid.
- Wear a custom sports mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw from damage.
- See your South Burlington dentist twice a year so you can spot and stop any issues right away.
It’s undeniable that physical exercise plays a key role in your overall wellbeing. However, you should take a few extra precautions to ensure your smile stays healthy as well! If you play sports, exercise regularly, or lead an active lifestyle, make sure to see your South Burlington dentist regularly to ensure your pearly whites are in great shape!
About the Practice
The talented dental professionals of Green Mountain Dental are committed to the beautiful smiles and overall wellbeing of the families of South Burlington, VT. They utilize the latest dental technology and techniques to ensure each appointment is as comfortable, effective, and pleasant as possible. What’s more, they truly care about each of their patients. They’ll take the time to get to know you and your goals and concerns, then work with you to select a treatment that’s best for your unique smile. If you’d like to know more about keeping your oral health safe while exercising, they encourage you to reach out via their website or at (802) 863-3950.