Even the best health decisions can sometimes lead to problems later down the line if you’re not aware of some of the unintended side effects. For example, working out is an excellent way to strengthen your body and protect your overall health, but you may not realize the damage it is doing to your teeth. In fact, you might not realize it’s having any effect on your mouth at all until it’s too late! If you often hit the gym or have a workout regimen that you follow every day, it’s important to be aware of the unintended consequences it might have on your oral health.
What are Some of the Ways Exercise Can Damage Your Teeth?
Depending on the nature of your workout, your teeth could be at risk from a variety of factors. Here are just a few examples:
- Jaw Clenching: When lifting weights or participating in another kind of demanding exercise, you might start to clench your jaw without consciously thinking about it. Clenching and grinding your teeth on a regular basis can eventually lead to fractures and chips. In the worst-case scenario, your tooth might even break entirely.
- Open Mouth Breathing: People tend to breathe heavily during exercise. Mouth breathing in general tends to be harmful to oral health since it dries out the mouth and reduces saliva levels, giving the harmful bacteria that cause decay a chance to thrive.
- Sports Drinks: While obviously not a direct effect of exercise, many people prefer to rehydrate with sports drinks or energy drinks after a workout thanks to the electrolytes they contain. However, these beverages are highly acidic, to the point where they can inflict significant damage to the teeth in just a matter of days.
How Can You Keep Your Teeth Safe During a Workout?
Naturally, the ideal solution is to be able to continue your workouts without putting your teeth in danger. Here are a few tips for mitigating exercise-related dental damage:
- Get a mouthguard to wear during your workout. This will stop your upper and lower teeth from making direct contact with each other so that they aren’t damaged by grinding and clenching. (This is also essential for any kind of sport that carries a risk of getting hit in the mouth.)
- Focus on breathing through your nose instead of your mouth. In addition to keeping your mouth moist, it also improves your lungs’ absorption capacity and keep your blood pressure under control.
- Drink water instead of sports drinks whenever possible. Natural coconut water with no additives or tap water with lemon are generally healthier alternatives.
As long as you’re aware of the potential risks to your dental health, you can avoid the harmful aspects of exercise and focus on reaping the benefits for your entire body – smile and all!
About Bethel Dental
Here at Bethel Dental, our team of expert dentists combine their own extensive experiences with the latest technology to help people in Accra enjoy healthy smiles for life. Whether you’re an athlete or simply trying to stay in shape, they’re here to help you take the initiative in preventing oral health issues linked to exercise. You can schedule an appointment by visiting their website.