How Frequent Exercise Leads to An Increase In Cavities

teethWorking out keeps you in good shape, helps you to maintain your desired weight, burns calories, boosts the immune system and does a number of other positive things for our overall health. Well, according to a study out of The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, not all areas of the body are positively influenced with regular physical activity and exercise.

In fact, the study concluded that the body may actually be harmed significantly thanks to constant exercise, specifically the teeth. That’s right, the study took 35 participants that were all competitive triathletes, meaning in incredible above average shape, and 35 no- athletes deemed in fair health by a medical professional.

The study consisted of a complete oral exam on all participants, done by a licensed dentist; the test included a saliva collection from each, as well as a questionnaire in regards to their diets, oral hygiene routines on a daily basis and exercise habits.

Fifteen of the participants were also asked to engage in a 30 minute running exercise and have their saliva taken and examined several times throughout the process.

Those in the group with triathletes were found to have significantly more erosion of their tooth enamel than any other participants in the other groups. They were also found to have far more cavities, with their likelihood of forming a cavity increasing with the intensity of their training or workout routine. So, it was concluded that the more hours spent in physically active events, the more likely the chance of cavities.

The Science Behind It

Researchers actually did not find any major differences in the amount of saliva produced between athletes and non-athletes in the study; before the testing began, it was predicted that the more an athlete sweats or produced saliva, the higher the chance of cavities would be. However, in actuality, when we exercise, our mouths automatically become dryer as the body uses the stored water to keep the joints lubricated and the body hydrated adequately. As this happens, the mouth becomes more alkaline in its composition, which is linked to the formation of tartar and plaque on the teeth. So this is why, those that exercise more, have a higher risk of cavities.

So, if you’re exercising at an above average rate, it is wise to both brush and floss your teeth twice a day as directed by dentists, and also to visit the dentist regularly for checkups.


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