Poor Oral Health for Athletes: Source Isn’t What You’d Expect

Poor Oral Health for Athletes: Source Isn’t What You’d Expect

If we had to guess, most individuals would say a big contributor to the poor oral health of athletes is the high amount of sports drinks they consume. While this extra sugar isn’t exactly improving their oral health, athletes more often find themselves suffering from maladies such as dehydration and dry mouth, which ultimately lead to tooth erosion and decay.

It’s largely unadvertised, though, that athletes experience this type of poor health. The trend was uncovered by researchers during the 2012 Olympic Games in London (if you’re interested in the study, read more about it here!) The study found that almost half of the Olympic athletes go more than a year without seeing a dentist. Especially when facing an increased risk to tooth decay, it seems very important to make dental appointments a priority. If nothing else, using a toothpaste with a higher fluoride content can decrease the risk of decay significantly. Rehydrating with water and low-sugar drinks is important in improving water balance within your body as well.

The bottom line isn’t that you shouldn’t continue to increase your fitness level for fear of damaging your oral health–it’s that when you’re increasing your physical activity levels, make sure you don’t forget about other aspects of your health! Staying well-hydrated is an easy step to take on your own, but seeing both your primary care physician and your general dentist ensures an overall maintenance of health. Dr. Carter’s office always has openings for basic cleaning appointments, and usually you can be seen within the same week if you call early enough. We hope to see you soon!

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