The Dangers of Athlete’s Mouth

Some of the healthiest people in the world might have some of the worst oral health on the planet. The leading cause? Sports drinks, bars, supplements, and gels. Who knew that something that could help an athlete’s performance could also become their biggest downfall?
Professional athletes train hard, sleep well, eat well, and take care of their health both inside and out. But there is something that is lurking around that is causing some serious oral health issues for these well-oiled machines. It is even starting to affect their performance and how well they are performing under extreme stress. The issue? Oral pain, disease, and cavities. But how is this possible, you might ask. These athletes take care of their bodies so well how could cavities get in their way? It is something lurking around them constantly. Substances that are made to hydrate, push, and help with performance. Even non-professional athletes fall for this trap too. Sugary sports drinks, bars, supplements, and gels are starting to affect the oral health of our athletes and causing them to have some of the worst mouths in the world.
Studies across the world are starting to show that athletes are damaging their teeth by regular and excessive use of sports drinks, energy bars, and gels. No matter how hard they work on trying to stay on top of their oral health, they just can’t keep up with the vicious sugary attack. In a recent study, it was found that 87% of athletes regularly drink sports drinks, 59% eat energy bars, and 70% eat energy gels.  Most athletes in these studies already have good hygiene habits, a good died, and don’t smoke. These three benefits usually lead to great teeth. But still, each athlete participating in these studies had horrible teeth.
Athletes tend to breathe less during intensive exercise meaning there is less production of saliva. Saliva neutralizes acids in the mouth, kills germs, and protects enamel. Without it – the mouth is already in danger. Adding sugary enhancement products to this and the effects grow worse. The high amount of sugars in these products is increasing the risk of tooth decay, and the acidity found in them is causing erosion, and that can also lead to cavities and increase the risk of gum disease. These issues can lead to serious pain that causes a distraction for many of these ailing athletes. This harms their performance and can set them back after all of their hard work and dedication to their sport.
Thankfully there are some things you can do to prevent these effects. First, pair these products with water. If you still feel like you need these products, always wash them down with extra water and wash your mouth out afterward. Up the intake of water, and use that to keep your body hydrated rather than relying on a sports drink. You can use more mouthwash with fluoride, plan more dental visits throughout the year, and reducing the intake of all of these products. If you aren’t a professional athlete or you’re not training hard, and you are a frequent user of these products, you need to drastically cut back. Instead, drink more water, and eat fruits for energy. Thankfully a lot of popular companies that make these enhancing products are already stepping up and releasing products with fewer sugars or being sugar-free.
The next time you’re feeling dehydrated or lethargic during or after your work out – reach for something cleaner. Reach for your water and a healthy snack of fruit. It’s important to keep your physical health at its peak, but you always need to think about your oral health too!

Our Office Hours & Address:

Monday: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Tuesday: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Wednesday: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Thursday: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Friday: 08:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Saturday: 08:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Sunday: Closed​

Our Location: 100 Harth Place, Summerville, SC 29485

After Hours? Don't Panic! Were Only A Phone Call Away!

Our after-hours telephone number is 843.873.7326 If you have a dental emergency, please call our after-hours telephone number and follow the instructions on our out-going message. Please note that medications will only be prescribed for patients who have recently been seen in our office. Recommendations for care for certain emergency situations, such as what to do if your tooth is knocked out, are available on our website. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.

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