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How Runners Are At Risk For Tooth Decay

Running can affect tooth decay. Learn more about it here from Westchester Family Dentist Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale
Running is a universal sport. People have been running since the beginning of time. There are many health benefits that one can expect to gain while starting up a running habit. However, there can be some oral health concerns that you may want to be aware of.  Those that run a lot may be at a greater risk for tooth decay. Your Westchester cosmetic dentist offers some reasons why:

  • Dry Mouth– While you’re putting in the miles, you probably haven’t realized that your heavy breathing is leading to dry mouth. A dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s also a hazard to your dental health. Saliva is important because it provides calcium, fluoride, and phosphate ions at the tooth surface. It also helps wash away food debris that cavity-causing bacteria can feed on.
  • Frequent Snacking– Runners need fuel. Especially endurance runners who are running a lot and for long periods of time. If you are running you probably find yourself snacking a lot throughout the day. While this may be optimal for training schedules, it can be dangerous for dental health. Each time you eat, the pH in the mouth is altered and become more acidic. Acid eats away at your enamel making your teeth weak and more prone to cavities.
  • Sugary Sports Drinks– The simple sugars in sports drinks are helpful for fueling muscles but can end up causing significant harm to oral health. Bacteria in the mouth metabolize sugars and create an acidic substance as a byproduct. As stated before, an acidic environment in the mouth will weaken the outer protective layer of enamel, increasing your odds of suffering from tooth decay.

What You Can Do To Lower Your Risk of Tooth Decay

Don’t worry, there are some ways that runners can lower their risk of tooth decay. Follow the suggestions below and you should be on your way to better dental health.

  • Swish your mouth out with water immediately after you have a sugary snack or drink.
  • Eating a healthy diet and plenty of non-sugary beverages and food when you aren’t running.
  • Choose gels with a thinner consistency that don’t stick to your teeth when possible and seek out flavors without citric or tartaric acid.
  • Drinking water or even rinsing with it can rehydrate your whole mouth and body and restore balance.
  • Chew sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol which can help prevent plaque build up.
  • Brush at least twice a day and flossing and establishing these as daily habits.
  • Visiting your dentist often. This is one of the most important. Any cavities or other dental problems are detected here and can be addressed soon after diagnosis.

Visiting your Westchester family dentist today will help solve any existing dental problems that you already have. Establishing a dental home is important and will help you to keep up good oral health habits. Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale is one of the best dentists in Westchester and is here to serve you. Schedule an appointment today!

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