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How Exercise Can Damage Your Teeth (& What You Can Do About It)

May 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 12:33 pm
Man and woman lifting weights at the gym

Exercising regularly comes with a multitude of benefits, from improved sleep quality and boosted self-esteem to a reduced risk of having a stroke. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a newbie in the world of working out, it’s important to be aware of how exercise can damage your teeth. That way, you can protect your smile while enjoying all of the benefits of being active; you’ll have the best of both worlds!

#1. Clenching Your Teeth While Lifting Weights

Over the last few decades, weightlifting has become extremely popular. From the ability to tone your muscles to the health benefits (like protecting your joints from injury), it’s not surprising either! If you’re interested in incorporating this exercise into your weekly routine, then it’s important that you don’t clench your teeth. This often happens subconsciously when people are putting their maximum effort into those last few reps. Unfortunately, this can result in dental emergencies, like a cracked or fractured tooth. So, do your best to keep your jaw relaxed and your teeth unclenched.

#2. Drinking Sports Drinks During Your Workout

Since they contain electrolytes, many exercise enthusiasts enjoy sipping on sports drinks before, during, or after their workout. However, many sports drinks have upwards of 21 grams of sugar! Therefore, indulging in this beverage regularly can significantly increase your risk of developing tooth decay. That’s why dentists encourage their patients to opt for plain water instead. In addition to keeping you hydrated, h2O can rinse away food particles and prevent dry mouth!

#3. Breathing Through Your Mouth While Exercising

When you’re winded – whether it’s from running that last mile or lifting a heavier weight – it’s natural to begin breathing through your mouth. In short, this can dry out your mouth and reduce saliva flow; two things that can lead to cavities. One of the best things to do is keep a bottle of water on hand and consistently sip it throughout your workout to help prevent that from happening.

How Your Dentist Can Help You Protect Your Smile!

Good news: you won’t have to compromise your workout goals for the sake of your smile. As your greatest ally when it comes to your oral health, your dentist can provide personalized recommendations on how to keep your smile healthy from home. They can make you a custom mouthguard as well! That way, your teeth and gums are effectively protected while you exercise.

About the Practice

Our team at Westgate Dental Care is truly here for all of your dental needs, from mouthguards to protect your smile to emergency dentistry if you accidentally sustain a dental injury during your workout. We have early morning, evening, and weekend hours as well, so scheduling a time to visit us is convenient too. If you would like to learn more about how to protect your smile or you want to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (847) 577-7171.