Everyone dreams of staying healthy and in shape, but people who take care of their fitness journey reap the maximum benefits of a healthy life. When health is your topmost priority, you do not make excuses to skip your exercise routine. From simple cardio to intense workouts, exercise brings myriad benefits to the heart, bones, lungs, muscles, and entire organs. You would be surprised to know that people participating in sports and fitness activities have reported a significantly reduced risk of developing periodontal disease. People with lower BMI have reported developing 40% fewer gum diseases due to cutting down unhealthy food consumption and keeping their bodies active throughout the day.
In this blog post, we have noted how fitness and sports activities affect your dental health, including the preventive measures you should follow while doing sports activities.
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The Positive Impact of Sports and Fitness Activities on Dental Health
There shouldn’t be an excuse to stay away from a healthy lifestyle. Your fitness journey shouldn’t be compromised at all. If you are concerned about your oral health while indulging in fitness or any sports activity, below we have noted the impacts of physical activities on your dental health.
Lower Risk of Periodontitis
When a body consistently follows a physical activity or a fitness regimen, it goes through less inflammation on the body. The same scenario applies in the case of gums when an active body state results in reduced swelling or inflammation in the gums. There are reduced chances of gums infection, hence, lesser risk of periodontitis.
Reduced Tooth Decay
While an individual is involved in sports activities and consumes a healthy diet to stay fit, it works exceptionally well for the body’s well-being and dental health. A healthy diet comprises less sugar and sodas and more fiber, and the chances of tooth decay are significantly reduced.
Less Bacterial Buildup
While participating in sports, the individual consumes lots of fluids to fulfill the energy requirements, which helps flush out the plaque. Lesser plaque and reduced bacterial buildup ensure healthy gums and teeth.
Better Oral Health
Individuals who participate in sports activities usually follow a better lifestyle and healthy eating habits. They do not eat irregularly and avoid taking junk food that helps in strengthening teeth. People who follow better hygienic practices have a reduced risk of dental caries. Also, exercising and staying fit delay the aging process, which correlates with improved dental health and lesser tooth decay that is related to aging.
Risks of Sports Activities on Oral Health
Although participating in sports activities is a great way to keep yourself busy and healthy in various ways, it can also increase your chances of certain injuries, especially teeth injuries. Certain drinks which athletes use to keep them hydrated usually contain large sugar content, which damages the teeth to some extent. Also, in contact sports, the chances of encountering mouth injuries are increased many times, which in severe form, affects the jaw and gums.
Breathing from Mouth
Athletes, while engaging in a sports activity, breathe from their mouth and not from the nose, which results in saliva drying. Since saliva is important to regulate the ecosystem of the mouth, if it gets dried, it promotes bacterial growth inside the mouth, leading to tooth decay.
During exercise, individuals usually keep their mouths open to ensure maximum air supply to their bodies. It affects the quality of saliva negatively, and once the saliva gets dried, it breaks the tooth enamel.
Apart from intaking energy drinks, athletes consume energy bars, which contain high levels of sugar. As we know, sugar creates a lot of damage to the teeth, and it results in causing tooth decay or gums inflammation.
Tips to Avoid Negative Effects of Fitness and Sports Activities on Dental Hygiene
If you are an athlete and have previously experienced dental injuries, this is the time to start taking oral hygiene seriously. There are some basic preventive measures that you may take to protect your mouth and teeth from sports injuries, such as:
- Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated so you don’t have to intake fluids containing large amounts of sugar. Coconut water is a natural ingredient that fulfills your body’s fluid needs and keeps you hydrated for longer.
- While playing contact sports, you have a higher chance of getting your mouth injured. To protect yourself from such unpleasant incidents, wear a mouth guard that safeguards your teeth from long-lasting damage and keeps you away from serious mouth injuries. You may also find custom-made mouthguards easily available at the dentist’s clinic.
- Breathing from your mouth while exercising or playing sports is normal. But this practice is harmful to the saliva, and also, while breathing from the mouth, the oxygen absorption level is not good. Try breathing from your nose as much as possible to prevent dry mouth and improve oxygen absorption. Nasal breathing is important to regulate the saliva and improves your breathing patterns.
- Keep a mouthwash with you as it helps in teeth strengthening. While you get spare time from sports activities, use mouthwash to prevent bad mouth odor as an added benefit.
- A regular dental checkup is also important to maintain good oral hygiene. If you are an athlete and constantly remain busy with sports activities, it is vital to keep your teeth checked regularly to see if there is any persistent dental complication due to any sports injury.
If you are a fitness enthusiast and want to make others aware of your experience regarding following a fitness routine under safety protocols, you may get advanced certifications in your specific category. Learn more.
Exercise frequently encourages people to adopt healthier dietary habits and self-care practices, such as maintaining regular dental hygiene. Eating healthier meals can significantly impact your dental health by increasing exposure to whole raw foods that help clean and nourish your teeth while decreasing exposure to sweets and carbohydrates. Your approach towards your fitness routine and exercise determine a lot about its negative and positive impact on your oral health. Before you get into a certain exercise routine, it is important to consult your dentist if it is safe for your gums and teeth.