Pictured is a tooth wearing running shoes surrounded by water bottlesYou know drinking water is important for your health. You also know that regular exercise can help avoid disease. But what you may not know are how dehydration and working out may affect your teeth.

Is Exercise Bad For You?

The short answer? No. Regular exercise is important for overall health but your teeth have unique needs. Hard breathing through your mouth is one of the things that can dry out your teeth. This effect is increased when your body isn’t properly hydrated while at rest. Overnight, if left untreated, this can create bacterial growth.

Dehydration: The Ugly Truth For Your Teeth

So now you know how exercise can dry out your teeth. What does this really mean? Dry mouth is a result of inadequate saliva production. Saliva functions to keep the mouth and teeth hydrated, clean, and protected. During periods of dry mouth it is this lack of protective saliva that can increase the chance of cavities. Symptoms of dehydration, including dry mouth and white spots on the teeth, appear quickly. For some people this is a normal experience every morning. Fortunately, these symptoms can also be quickly reversed with the right corrective measures.

How To Maintain Good Oral Hydration

Drink plenty of fluids good for preventing dry mouth, like water and coconut water, and avoid sugary drinks. If you’re going to be engaging in activities like endurance training or drinking alcohol plan ahead. Keep products on hand like sugar-free gum that will help prevent dry mouth. Always brush and floss before bed. This gives your mouth the best chance at staying hydrated through the night and clear of potential bacterial growth.

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