Working Out Is Great, but Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth?

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nexusdental @ 11:37 pm
Athlete smiles

Exercise is an essential part of maintaining one’s overall health, but it’s important to avoid injury when you’re working out. This is no less true for your smile than for your muscles, and many athletes and gym rats have injured their teeth because they didn’t take the proper precautions. Dental emergencies are a great way to ruin a good workout, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. Here are a few ways you can damage your teeth when exercising and a few tips to keep your sweating sessions smile-friendly!

Dehydration Is Bad for Your Teeth

Saliva production is a key part of your mouth’s natural cleaning process, and the body needs plenty of water to maintain a healthy flow of this fluid. Saliva protects the teeth by flushing away food debris, inhibiting bacterial growth, and keeping the smile lubricated. Unfortunately, working out without drinking water frequently can lead to dehydration, inhibiting saliva production. To make matters worse, breathing through your mouth can deplete the saliva already there by evaporation. Make sure you drink plenty of water when working out to protect your smile.

Sports Drinks Are Heavy with Sugar

While sports drinks are specially formulated to provide athletes with fast-acting hydration, electrolytes, and carbohydrates, they weren’t developed with the drinker’s dental health in mind. Sports drinks are rich in acids, which erode enamel, sugars, which feed harmful bacteria, and pigments, which can stain the teeth. Drink much more water than sports drinks when working out or reach for sugar-free varieties.

Oral Trauma Is a Major Bother

While contact sports are a great way to have fun, get exercise, and learn teamwork, they can cause oral injuries if you’re not careful. A wayward ball or elbow in football, basketball, soccer, or martial arts can chip or break teeth, resulting in a painful dental emergency. Wear a high-quality mouthguard when playing contact sports or riding a bike to keep your smile safe from harm.

Sports should be about making your body healthier, not making your teeth hurt. By following these tips, you can avoid much tooth decay and many dental emergencies.

About the Author

Dr. Niki Jayswal earned her dental degree at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, where she earned the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Award for outstanding academic achievement. She is proud to be a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, and the Dallas County Dental Society. Her office in Lewisville, TX provides general, pediatric, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on keeping your teeth safe when exercising, contact the office online or dial (972) 366-4452.

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