Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity, approximately half an hour a day, has been proven time and time again to positively benefit not just our bodies, but also our minds. At Somerset Dental, we believe in a holistic approach to oral hygiene, encouraging our patients to live healthy, well-rounded lives. You can imagine our surprise then, when we stumbled upon an article and study that suggested that exercising could be bad for your oral health!
The study was performed at the 2012 London Olympics, taking a cross-sectional study of 278 athletes in 25 sports. The resulting data was not what dentist’s dreams are made of, with 55% of the athletes showing signs of dental caries, 45% with dental erosion and a whopping 76% with gingivitis!
The athletes themselves were aware that the impediments on their health were effecting their performance, with 28% reporting an impact on their quality of life and 18% on their training.
So, is exercise good or bad for my teeth?
Well, following the results of the above study, a University in Germany conducted an experiment with a control group and a group of around 35 athletes. The scientists then had the athletes take part in an intensive work out for 35 minutes, taking saliva samples several times throughout.
What they discovered was that during the workout, the athlete’s mouths grew drier, despite the fact they were drinking water regularly. What’s more is that the chemical composition of the saliva also changed, becoming more alkaline. Excessive alkalinity in saliva has been shown to contribute to tartar plaques on teeth amongst other problems.
But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you like to go for a jog your teeth are going have holes in them. In both studies, the athletes were exactly that, athletes. They were training more than 9 hours a week, taking part in intensive workouts.
The recommended amount of daily exercise is 30 minutes per day and that can be across a range of activities.
To sum it up… No, regular physical exercise will not have an adverse effect on your oral hygiene – unless you are training at an elite level. In any case, we’d recommend a regular checkup, lots of hydration and a strict brushing and flossing regime. So why not contact the team at Somerset Dental Care today on 1300 707 046 for your next checkup.