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.
Oral 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!
Bauer Dental Arts