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How Does Your Workout Affect Your Smile? Oral Health for Athletes

February 6, 2015

451855347Working out regularly is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but have you ever wondered how your fitness regimen might be impacting the health of your teeth and gums? If not, you’re not alone. The effects of exercise on the mouth are still under research, but a recent study has shown us that working out – running, in particularly – can actually influence our oral health. At the Rocky Hill, CT dental office of Thaddeus S. Michalski, DMD, Dr. Michalski and his team strive to provide our patients with valuable information regarding oral health and wellness on a daily basis. Today, we’d like to discuss athletes and oral health.

Do Athletes Get More Cavities?

In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, a team of German researchers found that runners had more cases of tooth erosion than their non-athlete counterparts. The underlying cause of this potentially serious issue is twofold: a high-carb diet and diminished salivary flow.

First, a diet that is high in carbohydrates can drastically reduce the pH level within the mouth, leading to a higher incidence of tooth decay. When the pH level dips below 5.5, the mouth becomes an environment that is more susceptible to dental caries.

Secondly, a decrease in saliva can lead to tooth decay and even increase the risk of periodontal disease. This is because your saliva actively washes away acid-causing bacteria. Without sufficient saliva, bacteria accumulate more rapidly on the teeth and along the gum line. The lack of saliva in the athletes tested was attributed to mouth breathing while training.

Fortunately, improving your oral health doesn’t necessarily mean altering your exercise routine. Simply visit Dr. Michalski and his team in Rocky Hill, CT twice per year (or more frequently if advised) and follow a stringent home hygiene routine to protect your teeth and gums from damage.

Schedule Your Visit Today

If you or someone you love is an avid runner or athlete and you’d like to learn more about how exercise affects oral health, please don’t hesitate to call us today. Our knowledgeable team of dental health experts in Rocky Hill, CT is standing by; we are always ready to answer your questions and provide you with the care you need to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Our warm, family-friendly dental practice in Rocky Hill, CT also proudly serves patients from throughout the surrounding areas, including Hartford, Cromwell, Berlin, Newington, Wethersfield, and beyond.

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