A beautiful and fit body is something that is most coveted and a rigorous workout like running can do wonders for your health. Physical activity happens to be a key component in a healthy lifestyle, but the dentist will be able to tell you if you are runner or not the moment you slide into that chair.
Running can be quite a tough sport for your mouth’s health and studies have revealed the fact that the higher rates of erosion and cavities are associated with more vigorous endurance training.
Here are some of the ways in which running affects your oral health, especially your teeth. Just read on.
- Mouth breathing – Many runners happen to be mouth breathers without even knowing that. And it is one habit that can dry your mouth out. Less saliva in the mouth means more cavities. This is because saliva washes the debris away and also neutralises the acids in the bacteria and the food. During running, the consistency and composition of the saliva changes and it becomes sticky and mucous-like instead of being more fluid-like. This makes them trap the decay giving rise to bacteria instead of driving them away. To fix this you need to drink lots of water and chew sugar-free gums that are sweetened by xylitol which is a natural sugar alcohol, at least, four to five times a day.
- Lots of Sugar Intake – The chews, the gels and the sports drinks that the runners and athletes consume fuel and feed the bacteria. As these bugs dine, they produce an acid that eats away the protective enamel that covers the teeth. Irrespective of the product delivery method, you can prevent the mouth from getting harmed by swishing the mouth with water immediately after ingesting it. A healthy diet and lots of non-sugary beverages can also give your mouth respite by reducing the risk of cavity. You should consider using gels if you are prone to cavities with a thinner consistency that don’t stick to the teeth and avoid tartaric acid or citric acid flavours. They can further erode the enamel through extended and frequent uses.
- Using the Teeth to Open Packets – This one happens to be self-explanatory and there are many runners who have chipped their teeth in such a way. So there is just one way of fixing this and it is to refrain from using teeth to cut packets.
- Breaking the Crowns and Fillings – The dense protein bars and the sticky chews can damage the fillings and the crowns. The cement that holds these structures is weaker than the natural bone and tooth. As a result, its can easily be compromised by any kind of hard foods. If you have had an extensive oral work done, you should exercise extra caution at the time of chewing crunchy or sticky foods. You can also experiment with the real foods for fuelling your workout like peanut butter energy bites and bananas.
- Getting Hurt – Runners often get hurt when they are into rigorous practising. As a result, there are high chances of their teeth getting chipped or broken. So it is advisable that you wear mouth guards as a precaution so that your teeth remain unharmed even when hit hard.
- Grinding during Workouts and at Nights – Runners often grind the teeth or clench the jaws especially during the tough speed sessions or at nights. Although mouth-guards are available but very few people are seen to wear them to the track. You can control this by concentrating on relaxing the shoulders and the face and also the arms. Once you get to the relaxed position, you can release the tension on your teeth and it also assists you to run faster. If you grind the teeth at night and wake up with stiffness or a headache, talk to the dentist nearby. If you wear a night guard you will be able to do away with the problem and wake up feeling refreshed.
The above are some the ways runners are messing up with their oral health. By following the tips and precautions suggested above you can protect your pearly whites and at the same time stay in shape.