Oral Health for Runners

We are pleased to present a guest article by one of our team’s important Wellness Partners, Dr. Orest Bauer:

Dental care and hygiene is a major factor in overall health, and runners and athletes need to pay extra attention to theirs.

DrB-portraitOral health could be an easy win for athletes, as oral conditions that can affect performance are easily preventable. Undetected, and seemingly benign these problems can cause a ripple effect throughout the body. These issues can become a performance limiter by negatively impacting whole body health. Major reasons why endurance athletes are at increased risk for dental erosion include consuming sugary sports drinks and nutrition, heavy mouth breathing, and dry mouth. And combining high sugar consumption with frequent dry mouth exacerbates the potential harm for erosion.

For everyone, including elite and endurance athletes, the best protection against tooth decay is a combined regimen of regular professional care, effective home care, and a healthy diet low in refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, and concentrated forms of acid. Of course exercise is also an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Steps to Improve Your Oral Health

You can improve your oral health while continuing to enjoy and thrive with your endurance training and racing, even reverse or eliminate current problems.

Here are actions you can take:

  • See your dentist for check ups 2 to 3 times each year
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Using a Sonicare toothbrush, Waterpik, and mouthwash will also improve your oral health
  • If you have any tooth pain or unresolved dental problems, get this taken care of right away
  • Decrease your consumption of sports drinks and other sugary sports foods
  • Rinse your mouth with water after consuming sugars.
  • Work on more nasal breathing. Breathing through your nose increases the production of nitric oxide that helps to increase your lungs’ oxygen absorbing capacity and kills bacteria, viruses and other germs.

When proactive about taking care of your teeth, you’ll improve both your health and your running performance!

Dr. Bauer
Bauer Dental Arts

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Jerlyn Thomas

More about Jerlyn Thomas

Jerlyn Thomas, also known as Jade, is a marketing professional and brand specialist. She's part of the website committee and is credited for conceptualizing, designing and developing the website for this running team. She's also an adrenaline seeker, inspirer, Caribbean Islander?, Sr. Art Director/Dev?, Published Illustrator, Triathlete, Ultramarathoner and Marathoner (who has completed over 15 distances ?), 2x Ragnar finisher and 2x Tough Mudders finisher she blogs about her lifestyle on Design Lady NYC and you can follow her on Instagram @jerlynthomas. She runs in Brooklyn, trains in Manhattan and loves escaping to head on trails on the weekends.

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