Throughout the past few years, there have been several studies that provide conflicting information on whether exercise is good or bad for your oral health. Our dental office in Columbia hopes that we can help clear up any confusion so you can get back to working out without worry.
The Benefits of Exercise
It goes without saying that everyone should exercise regularly to help get and keep the body healthy. No matter what your workout of choice may be, if it gets the heart pumping and increases breathing, chances are you’re benefiting from all the good exercise can do for your health. Exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes all while keeping your body weight within a healthy range. But the benefits of exercising goes beyond arms, legs, abs, heart, and lungs and can actually help keep your mouth healthy, too.
According to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), those who exercised moderately five days a week, or at a high intensity three days a week, were at lower risk for gum disease. This is both great for oral health and whole body health since the effects of gum disease don’t only affect the mouth. Gum disease can cause a whole host of both oral health and whole body problems including bad breath, swollen, painful gums, tooth loss, certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke.
Potential Oral Health Concerns
When it comes to your oral health and exercise, it’s not all good news. While we don’t encourage anyone to stop exercising, we do want our patients and neighbors to be aware of how sometimes exercise can affect oral health.
There are essentially two common reasons exercise can cause problems in your mouth: Sports drinks and mouth breathing. Take a closer peek as to why.
While breathing heavily is part of what makes exercise so great for the body, it’s also what can contribute to tooth decay and cavities. Heavy breathing tends to cause people to mouth breathe, or only breathe with an open mouth. This reduces saliva production and makes the mouth dry. A dry mouth is the perfect place for dangerous bacteria to thrive and cause decay.
Even though sports drinks do have their benefits, they’re also packed with tooth damaging ingredients. Sports beverages are a great option to help your body recover after exercise, but between the sugar and acid, they’re a recipe for decay.
If you’re concerned that your workout routine may be negatively affecting your oral health, schedule an appointment at our Columbia dental office. We’ll be more than happy to talk about your concerns and work with you to find the the best solutions.
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