Is Exercise Bad for Dental Health?

A new article published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Health indicates that strenuous exercise may be detrimental to the teeth. A study, comprised of athletes, discovered that heavy workouts may contribute to dental issues in a variety of surprising ways.

Previously, there have been indications that athletes might have increased risks for cavities and other oral problems. A study published in 2013 by The British Journal of Sports Medicine examined 278 athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The majority of those athletes displayed “poor oral health.” The criteria of poor oral health included tooth decay, gum disease and loss of tooth enamel. The competitors hailed from the U.S. and other developed countries, as well as lesser-developed countries. However, most had access to quality preventive dental care. Many had not visited a dentist in at least a year.

Despite the infrequent dental visits, there seems to be a correlation between poor dental health and the amount of training time. The more an athlete worked out, the higher the incidence of tooth decay. Reasons for this seem to point to the increased amounts of saliva, and the alkalinity of the saliva, produced while the person is exercising. Excess alkalinity is believed to contribute to the buildup of tarted and plaque on the teeth, as well as other problems. Sports drinks and training diets do not seem to be factors in oral health. That doesn’t mean you should quit exercising and spend all your time shopping QNet. If you are an athlete, take extra consideration into your oral hygiene habits.