Listen up Colorado Springs athletes!
Many athletes eat high-carbohydrate diets and consume sugary, acidic energy drinks, which may contribute tooth decay and erosion.
In addition, intense training can lead to dehydration, resulting in reduced production of saliva, which helps protect teeth from decay.
The number 1 piece of adivice Dr. Gasper of Aesthetic Dentistry by Design has for athletes is for them to visit their dentist regularly.
You will live another 10 years if your mouth and teeth are healthy. (That’s a lot of running and races to accomplish!)
Three other tips specifically geared toward athletes who are more prone to tooth decay:
2. Dry Mouth – Dry mouth, a side effect commonly caused by all that heavy breathing, can lead to extensive tooth decay, gum disease and mouth sores. With regular saliva production, your teeth are constantly bathed in a mineral-rich solution that helps keep your teeth strong and resistant to decay. Dr. Gasper recommends using artificial saliva products in the form of over-the-counter rinses or sprays that can help moisten the mouth.
3. Sports Drinks/Gels – Sports drinks and energy gels are secretly eating away at your teeth – and fast. They contain phosphoric acid, which dissolves the calcium in tooth enamel and weakens teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Please make sure to rinse your teeth with water after consuming sports drinks and gels. And when you’re not swimming, biking and running, eat a high quality diet low in sugar and high-carbohydrate foods. Also let your dentist know you’re an endurance athlete and discuss ways to prevent tooth decay.
4. Teeth Grinding – Everyone grinds or clenches their teeth during sleep. And athletes who are stressed about their training or nervous about an upcoming race, may be have an increase in their grinding and clenching. This can cause teeth to wear prematurely or break, pain in the jaw and can even result in headaches and migraines. One of the ways to prevent teeth grinding is to wear a mouth guard, which fits over the front teeth only so the back teeth cannot touch and grind against each other at night while sleeping.
Learn more about mouth guards at Aesthetic Dentistry by Design in Colorado Springs.