The Connection Between Exercise & Oral Health

Group of people of mixed ages smile in workout clothes after exercising at the gym

It’s no secret that regular exercise can provide a variety of overall health benefits. Whether you run marathons, power walk around your neighborhood, dance, practice yoga, engage in high-intensity interval training, or enjoy another type of physical activity, exercise can help you live a longer and healthier life. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that your oral health can also benefit from regular exercise.

How Can Exercise Benefit Your Oral Health?

A new study shows that adults who follow the recommended guidelines for exercise (at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, with muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week) had a lower risk for developing gum disease. In addition to being the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, gum disease is also linked to heart disease and other serious conditions.

Dental Precautions During Exercise

While regular exercise provides tons of health benefits, certain aspects can be damaging to teeth if proper precautions aren’t taken. Use the following guidelines to protect your smile while you sweat:

  1. Wear a Mouthguard
  2. If you participate in contact sports or extreme sports, wear a custom mouthguard. A well-fitting mouthguard can protect your teeth from trauma and be the difference between safe teeth and a cracked or lost tooth. If you don’t already have a mouthguard, we would be happy to custom-create one just for you!

  3. Limit Sports Drinks
  4. Sports drinks typically have a high sugar content and can increase your risk for cavities. Limit your consumption of sports drinks to when you are exercising vigorously for longer than an hour. Otherwise, water should suffice for proper hydration. Or consider a refreshing coconut water with no added sugar to replenish electrolytes.

  5. Rinse After Protein Drinks
  6. Protein powders and protein drinks with lots of added sugar can also be damaging to teeth. If you do consume these beverages to aid in recovery, choose a lower sugar option and follow up with a glass of water to rinse your teeth.

Dental Care in Rochester Hills & St. Clair Shores

At Hillstream Dental, we encourage our patients to incorporate regular exercise as part of their healthy lifestyle — your mind, body, teeth, and gums will thank you! We also recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and visiting us every six months for checkups and cleanings. To ask our team any questions or to schedule your next appointment, contact us today.

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Hillstream Dental

Hillstream Dental