Part of keeping your teeth in good shape comes from more than just going to the dentist, although that is certainly essential to maintaining beautiful teeth. Exercise plays a very important role in your overall health, and on your teeth, too. Here are five ways that exercise can affect your teeth – positively and negatively.
Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth, it can easily lead to dental problems. Your teeth can become cracked, chipped, or even broken from this habit. You could also experience teeth that are sensitive, have sore jaw muscles, as well as neck aches, earaches, and headaches. A good exercise program can stop you from grinding your teeth because it will produce endorphins, which will enable you to relax and lower your stress levels. A healthy diet will also benefit even more to help curb this problem.
Strengthens Your Bones
Older people, especially women, often suffer from bone loss, called osteoporosis. An x-ray by a dentist can help discover those who have this disease. Bone loss also affects your jaw, which means that you may soon develop loose teeth, receding gums, and you may have problems with dentures fitting very well. Exercise is important because it can strengthen your bones – including your jaw bones.
Greater Risk of Tooth Decay
From a study of athletes during the 2012 Summer Olympics, it was discovered that they had greater problems of dental caries and dental erosion. The longer the training periods were, the worse the problem. Part of the reason for this is that athletes will often sip and eat sweets through and after the training period. This leads to the teeth being exposed to more sugar over a longer period.
More Acidic Saliva
In addition to the above findings, the same study discovered that breathing through the mouth dries it out. This is caused by less saliva being produced the longer you exercise, which enables the wrong kind of bacteria to thrive in the mouth. The right kind of saliva protects the teeth, but prolonged periods of exercise cause the chemical makeup of the saliva to change, making it harmful to your teeth.
People who exercised heavily were also found to have more gum disease than those in the normal population. It appears that this is also the result of consuming a lot of sugar while exercising. To help prevent gum disease, Dr. Frederick Guerra, a dentist in Colorado Springs, suggests to have your wisdom teeth removed. If you suspect that you have gum disease, consult with an experienced dentist to see what options for treatment are right for you.
People who enjoy a lot of exercise each week need to be sure to take care of their teeth. They are at a greater risk for dental problems. Regular dental visits should be a part of their health regimen to ensure that they continue to enjoy a full range of it.