Is Exercise Harming Your Dental Health?

Posted on: 29 November 2016

Now that summer is almost here, you may be digging out your soccer boots or squash racket so you can go and have some fun outdoors. While exercise can help your physical health, it could be having a damaging impact on your oral health. Below is a guide to how physical exercise can damage your dental health and the steps you can take to avoid it.


When exercising in the heat of an Australian summer, you will inevitably lose a lot of water via perspiration. If you do not consume enough water during and after your exercise session, you may become dehydrated. One symptom of dehydration is a dry mouth. 

You develop a dry mouth because as the amount of water in your system decreases, your body attempts to conserve what remains by channelling it to your vital organs. A dry mouth provides the ideal conditions for harmful bacteria to grow as the saliva which would usually protect your teeth is absent. Increased levels of bacteria can lead to tooth decay. It is recommended that you drink half a cup of water for every 15 minutes of moderate exercise your perform.

Sports Drinks

To avoid becoming dehydrated, you may consume sports drinks. While this will give you a boost and will help to ensure that you do not develop a dry mouth, it will also coat your teeth in sugar. The sugar can cause the enamel on your teeth to weaken, contributing to increased rates of dental erosion. To avoid this problem, you should switch back to drinking plain water. However, if you really must drink sports drinks, you should use a straw. Using a straw will help to reduce the amount of contact between your teeth and the sugary liquid. 

You should not brush your teeth immediately after consuming a sports drink as the softened enamel on your teeth will be easily damaged. Instead, you should chew sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva production. Saliva will help to gently wash away any sugar stuck to the surface of your teeth and neutralise any acids in your mouth.

If you would like further information or advice about how to protect your dental health during exercise, book an appointment with a clinic like Cambridge City Dental. The doctors there will be able to assess your dental health and recommend lifestyle changes which will help to protect your teeth and gums.