Are you experiencing a tooth pain while jogging outside? Or do you feel a sudden tooth discomfort while doing your cardiovascular exercise? Well, this could be a sign that you are messing up with your dental health and your exercise routine can be the culprit behind it.
Whether you are working out for building muscle or losing weight, you probably haven’t given a second thought to its effect on your oral health.
And as long as your teeth are pearly white, you don't usually give too much thought to your oral hygiene.
Side effects like muscle soreness and cramps are common to have after an exercise. But if your teeth start to hurt after a workout session, it is time to pay attention to your workout routine. Here are some clear signs that indicate your exercise routine is hampering your dental health.
Extra Sensitivity in the Teeth
Do you feel a sudden shock like pain in your teeth every time you go for a jog? Exposure to stimuli like hot or cold air hit the weak spots in your teeth enamel and causes a sharp pain as you inhale and exhale.
Sometimes the infection isn’t the reason behind the teeth sensitivity. If a tooth cavity isn’t at fault for your oral pain or discomfort, the exercise may be the underlying problem. When you breathe in cold air while jogging outside, the increased circulation can cause discomfort in your teeth.
So, if you like sweating outdoors, it is recommended to wear a scarf or balaclava over your mouth. Breathing through it will help you prevent the teeth sensitivity issue. Also, you can use toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth to keep the sensitivity at bay.
So, you frequently hit the gym? Suddenly started seeing more cavities in your teeth? Sometimes it is not the pre-Halloween candy or the cookies but how you are rehydrating post-workout is to blame for your cavities.
No doubt sports drinks have their own benefits, but when loaded with sugar and acids, they make a recipe of tooth decay.
You start consuming more acidic sports drinks during your workout session and this wears away your tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Many athletes also adhere to high carb diets that promote bacteria buildup and result in infection and cavities. So, sticking to water when possible is the best way to avoid cavities.
Dry Mouth during Exercise
Breathing heavily is a common part of an exercise which is good for our body. However, this can also suppress the production of saliva and contribute to tooth decay and cavities. The spit created during the heavy exercise is usually more acidic and it can degrade enamel.
Due to heavy breathing, you tend to mouth breathe during the workout session. This reduces the saliva production and leads to dry mouth which is an inviting place for bacteria to thrive and cause decay.
But this doesn’t mean you have to quit your gym to protect your smile. Just ensure that you are well hydrated before hitting the gym, and there is no need to worry about. Drink enough water throughout the day and rinse your mouth with 4 to 6 ounces of water in every 15 to 20 minutes to stave off your dry mouth while working out.
Jaw Pain and Discomfort
Sometimes jaw pain or discomfort can be caused by something as simple as gritting your teeth or clenching your jaw while doing an exercise.
Every time your feet strike the ground, the impact travels up your body through the foot. If your muscles are tightened while you are exerting yourself, this impact will enhance the pressure on your teeth.
This is why you need to watch out while lifting heavy weights or running as teeth clenching can cause jaw pain and discomfort.
It can also wear down your teeth. Wearing a protective mouth guard during your workout can help you lessen aching jaw problem due to your teeth gritting habit.
Also, keep your upper body and jaw relaxed while you are running to prevent any jaw pain and oral discomfort.
Do you prefer to do a lot of abdominal work like crunches? If you have a weak core or neck muscle, you might experience tooth pain during such exercise. You usually rely on your neck muscle while doing exercise like seat-ups and this can cause more strain on the neck and ultimately result in neck and teeth pain.
So, make sure to keep your hands behind your ears and look at any spot on the ceiling while doing crunches to avoid such pain.
To Sum It Up
No, regular exercising is not going to have an adverse effect on your oral hygiene unless you are doing it wrong.
So, don’t take it as a science-backed excuse to quit the gym. Have adequate water and limit sipping on acid rich sports and energy drinks throughout your workout and you will have a healthy body along with a healthy smile.
If you are concerned that your exercise routine is negatively impacting your oral health, find a dentist near you and schedule an appointment to find out the best solution for you.