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Monday, 24 October 2016

Sports Drinks – A Threat to an Athlete’s Oral Health

Sports Drinks – A Threat to an Athlete’s Oral Health

Being an athlete, you should be responsible in maintaining a healthy mind and body. To deliver a successful performance, you need to be dedicated towards training, eat healthy food and keep your body hydrated. It is obvious that most of the athletes take all these steps to stay fit and healthy but, amidst these, an important part are missed – teeth. Having good oral hygiene is equally important as having a sound physical health. Did you know, consuming sports drinks can cause serious damage to your oral health and hygiene? It may energize you while playing a sport, but its effects on the teeth is way more harmful than its effective benefits in improving your game. You can know about the ways of having improved oral health by dentists in Wimbledon.

Read on to know how these drinks cause harm to your teeth and gums, without you even noticing it.

Effect of sports drinks on the oral health of athletes

Sports drinks usually lead to tooth decay, dental erosion and periodontal disease. The sugar content in these liquids stick to the teeth more than saliva. This results in production of acid on which the bacteria attacks increasing the chances of tooth decay. The enamel erodes away as the outer and inner layer dentin turn weak and eventually breaks down by the acid attacks. The pH level decreases to 5.5 and its effects on your oral health are hazardous. On consumption of energy supplements, the citric and malic acid content lowers the pH level between 2.4 – 4.5. This increases the risk of exposure of teeth to sugar and acidity. A dry mouth due to dehydrated body is another reason behind the increasing risks of tooth decay in athletes. Decayed tooth gives way to periodontal infection. Therefore, it is advised to seek advanced dental care for gum disease.

A poor dental health can greatly affect your performance and if ignored may ultimately lead to dental erosion. Erosion further results in various difficulties in performing daily activities. If you are an athlete and are suffering from oral problems, you may likely also face difficulties sleeping and eating. There may be pain and inflammation of gums and soft tissue. You may even fall lack of confidence which will eventually affect your overall performance.

Suitable advice for athletes

It is advised to contact your nearest dentist, if you feel you are suffering from a dental issue like tooth decay, gum disease or dental erosion. The dental experts will suggest you the right way of using sports drinks. Some of which are:

  • Have diluted sports drinks
  • Use them moderately and try to increase water-intake during light workouts where less body fluid is lost.
  • Drink cold sports drinks as taking warm might speeden up erosion.
  • Use a straw and do not hold the drink in mouth for long to reduce contact with teeth.
  • Avoid brushing teeth right after sipping in a sports drink to restrict wearing away of enamel
  • Talk to your dentist for affordable dental care and get a regimen for hydration when exercising.

An athlete should be aware of his or her health conditions both oral and overall in order to have a fair and safe game. It is important to minimize intake of sports drink in the wrong way to keep their teeth healthy and strong.

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