Most of us are very busy people and we go about our days getting everything we need to accomplish all while not thinking about our oral health. But your oral health is a daily consideration. You may not even realize things you’re doing in your every day life may be effecting your teeth.
When it comes to your oral health and the well being of your teeth, there are the usual suspects to blame: soda, sugar, shoddy brushing. But you may be doing things in your every day routine that are adding stress to your teeth!
Here are five unexpected dental culprits—and the best ways to stop them.
Long cardio workouts may take a toll on your teeth, one study found. The researchers compared the oral health of endurance athletes with non-exercisers and found that the athletes were more likely to have tooth erosion, which is a gradual wearing away of enamel. And the more time they spent training per week, the greater their risk of cavities. That’s because exercise reduces your saliva, the researchers found. Saliva is filled with minerals that nurture your teeth and neutralize acids that cause wear and rot. On top of that, consuming sugary energy gels and acidic sports drinks during training can encourage tooth decay.
Your fix: Since you have less saliva during long training sessions, battle decay-causing bacteria and plaque by brushing before you exercise and rinsing your mouth with water after consuming anything sugary or acidic. Plus, chewing sugar-free gum when you work out can boost your saliva production!
It’s a natural tendency to clench your jaw when you strain to lift weights. It may even improve performance by increasing blood flow to parts of your brain associated with motor control. But all that pressure can wear down your teeth or even crack them, causing persistent pain in your jaw, he says.
Your fix: If you bite down hard when you exert yourself in the gym, consider wearing a mouthguard. Inexpensive “boil-and-bite” mouth guards are effective and easy to find at drugstores or sporting goods stores. Or your dentist can make you a custom one.
Hundreds of meds for allergies, depression, heart health, and blood pressure cause dry mouth. That may not sound like a major side effect, but it can wreak havoc on your teeth, since they need saliva to protect against acids that cause decay and erosion. When you don’t have an adequate saliva supply, your teeth can undergo catastrophic damage in a matter of months.
Your fix: Chewing on sugar-free gum and sucking on sugar-free hard candy throughout the day will help stimulate saliva production. Stay away from sugary and acidic foods that encourage decay and erosion.
Sure, the chest pain sucks, but did you know that acid reflux can do permanent damage to your teeth, too? The acid from your digestive system can wind up in your mouth, dissolving your enamel just like the acid from soda or sports drinks. This acid, however, can be even more potent.
Your fix: If your dentist finds erosion on the teeth located at the back of your mouth, acid reflux is most likely the culprit. Ask your physician how to tackle your heartburn.
Brushing after eating acidic foods—like juice, fruit, sports drinks, red wine, and soda—can weaken enamel. That may lead to yellowing and greater odds of cracks and chips.
Your fix: Swish with water to rinse away the acid and wait 40 minutes for the calcium in your saliva to remineralize weakened areas. Then brush(Source: prevention.com).
For more information call Dr. Gerald Middleton in Riverside, CA at (951) 688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com.
Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario, Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.