Whether you find it an enjoyable undertaking or not, having a healthy workout routine is obviously something which is necessary to ensure your body functions at a healthy level. It helps to both reduce fat in the body, reduce stress levels and helps to build muscle mass.
In fact, there are so many positives when it comes to exercise that we rarely, if ever, really consider the negative implications that can come with a heavy exercise routine. Amongst these issues, you have joint damage, pains and even an impact on your dental health.
So, what is the unseen correlation between exercise and dental hygiene? How can you work to lessen the impact on your daily routine?
Exercise, no matter how little or how much you do, is often associated with good overall health. And while true, there are some areas where you may find that exercise can actually have a negative impact on your health. Namely, in regards to your teeth. Heavy training, some research has found, can have quite a big impact when it comes to dental hygiene and the overall health of your teeth. Elite athletes are some of the most at-risk individuals for issues such as dental erosion and cavities.
But, why are these negatives being produced during an activity which is, overall, incredibly positive? Well, there are a couple of primary reasons:
Rehydration during exercise is vital. And many athletes prefer to rehydrate using sports drinks and energy drinks, as they contain electrolytes which can be used to refuel energy and help to stay hydrated during a workout. But, unfortunately, they can have a major toll on your dental health over time. In fact, there is so much acid in sports drinks that erosion can occur after only 5 days of consecutive consumption.
Open Mouth Breathing
During exercise, you tend to naturally breathe heavily with an open mouth rather than through the nose. This can have an impact on dental hygiene as it reduces the flow of saliva, whilst also ensuring a prime environment for bacteria to thrive. If you have other dental equipment installed, such as lingual braces, then this can also contribute to a much larger build up and more problems over time. This only makes the environment that much worse for an athletes teeth over a long period of time.
And with the Negative… Positive
However, despite the negatives, there are also a number of incentives which can help to put a positive spin on exercise and dental health in the long run. There are a couple of positive outcomes to exercising and the impact on your teeth:
Gum Disease Prevention
A study in the Journal of Dentistry found that regular exercise over a long period of time can help to lower the risk of gum disease. The study concluded that, over time, exercise helped to contribute to a much lower risk of gum disease. People who worked out and never smoked had nearly 50% less chance of developing gum disease when compared to those who never participated in a regular physical activity.
Even partially active people have at least a 33% less chance of developing gum disease when compared with no exercise at all.
BMI and Oral Health Correlation
A healthy BMI (body mass index) is vital in the long term for a number of reasons, but it can also help your oral health. Health issues such as diabetes and hypertension can contribute to bad oral health, which is, in turn, a result of obesity in many cases. So, maintaining a healthy weight (and thus a good BMI) can help to reduce the overall risk of such problems, which is why exercise can actually help your oral hygiene in the long term.
Overall, exercise doesn’t have to have such a negative impact on your oral hygiene. You can choose alternatives to sports drinks such as water, strive to keep your mouth closed when exercising (or at least brush and clean your mouth thoroughly afterwards to avoid the issue) and of course the positive impact is such that it should outweigh the negative so long as you work to maintain hygiene in all other ways. Regular checkups with your dentist Warrington should also help to combat these issues in the long term.