Exercise can damage your teeth!
Exercise is very good for your general health. But it can play havoc with your dental health.
How can that be?
Problem One – Heavy breathing
- When you do sport and exercise hard you can get out of breath and pant.
- You breathe heavily through your mouth.
- Your mouth dries out.
- You tend to produce less saliva.
- This causes xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome).
Dry mouth syndrome means that:
- Any residual food particles in your mouth stagnate.
- You can experience burning sensations in your mouth or gums.
- You can find it difficult to swallow.
- You can experience a dry, sore throat/coughing.
What to do about it
- Your mouth needs to be bathed in fluid to keep your gums and other tissues healthy.
- So it’s important that you keep your mouth moisturised.
- Carry a bottle of water with you at all times.
- Or a little detour to the water fountain every now and again for a sip of water is all that’s necessary to prevent dryness from becoming a problem.
Problem Two – “Power drinks”
“Power” or “ionic replacement drinks” are heavily marketed and promoted for athletes and others doing a lot of physical exercise.
Drinking them – especially when you have a dry mouth – can make the problem worse. They contain:
- a lot of sugar which leads to tooth decay.
- salt which is not good for high blood pressure.
- caffeine which can give you an artificial feel good factor but too much can give you unpleasant side effect.
- acid which contributes to tooth erosion.
The solution to dry mouth syndrome is easy
All you need to prevent your mouth drying out is water. Sipping continually on power drinks probably won’t give you any extra benefit. And they may actually encourage dental problems.
There are lots of products on the market to ‘moisturise’ your mouth. And you can buy them easily in a pharmacy. They usually work by depositing a thin oily protective film on the inside surfaces of your mouth.
But you’re unlikely to need them if you have regular sips of water while you’re exercising and a large glass of water when you’ve finished.