It’s common knowledge that exercising regularly is essential for a healthy body and mind, but do you know how your trips to the gym are affecting the health of your smile? The link between your teeth and your fitness regimen may not be immediately apparent, but a recent study published in a Scandinavian scientific journal uncovered an important relationship that is of particular interest to athletes. At Ted R. Hume, III, DDS in Dallas, TX, Dr. Ted Hume and his team are always searching for new ways to help our patients. We’d like to take this opportunity to share the findings of this study in hopes that it will be useful in your journey toward optimal oral health.
Exercise and Tooth Decay: Why Runners Have More Cavities
Previously conducted studies on the subject of oral health in athletes discovered that men and women who ran regularly suffered from a higher incidence of tooth decay as compared to their non-athletic counterparts. While a diet high in carbohydrates (think sports drinks and energy bars) had already been revealed as a major cause of cavities in athletes, the researchers found something new in this study. It was the saliva collected from the participants that really brought the surprising results.
Saliva samples were taken from two groups: non-athletes and regular runners. When both groups were at rest, their samples showed no difference. When the athletes were sent out on a strenuous run, however, the environment in their mouths changed. Saliva production was diminished as they ran, putting their teeth and gums at risk for decay and disease. Choosing carbonated or sugary refreshments following the run made matters worse, eroding tooth enamel at a faster rate than would normally occur. The results of the study point toward more stringent preventive dental care for men and women who work out often, particularly runners.
Dental Care for Athletes in Dallas, TX
Though we would never suggest that any of our patients abstain from a healthy amount of exercise, we do like to remind our athletic patients that their teeth and gums require special care. If you are concerned that your fitness regimen is negatively affecting your oral health, please contact us today to schedule your visit with Dr. Hume and our experienced, caring staff. We can help you protect your smile from the most common dental health issues, including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Conveniently located in Dallas, TX, our practice warmly welcomes families from the surrounding communities in the DFW Metroplex, including those in Plano, Frisco, Garland, Richardson, North Dallas, University Park, and more.