Do you know exercising could increase the risk of tooth decay?

Vigorous exercise is excellent for almost all of the body, except perhaps the teeth. According to a surprising new observation by Dr J Kligman, a Sydney dentist with over 20 years of experience, who has encountered throughout his practice an increase in the number of patients between the ages of 20 and 43 years who have never had a single cavity, to suddenly developing multiple decays at once.

So he decided to create a questionnaire to find out if there were any lifestyle changes in his patients during the past 2 to 5 years that could have contributed to a sudden increase in cavities.

By A Better Smile

At first, he had questions about the most common and well-known factors such as consumption of soft drinks, sugar intake, alcohol, oral hygiene habits, mouth breathing during sleeping, high salt diets and how regular were their visits to the dentist?.

Unfortunately, most of the surveys came back with no significant variations in their lifestyles. Then, he thought maybe any transitions from university to desk work and hence started a coffee and tea drinking culture were the cause! Surely, sugar and milk in drinks can be a contributory factor in the development of tooth decay. Further, researches have shown that caffeine can lead to a reduction of saliva and dry mouth, which in time could increase the risk of caries (cavities).

However, the vast majority of assessed patients were otherwise healthy people with a well-adjusted occupation, good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits. But, after months of research and observations, he’d realised that most of these patients had started to go to the gym, sometime in the past three years and at least three times a week. Most of these patients had some common factors:


  • None to one cup of coffee or tea a day.
  • Healthy diets.
  • Low acidity diets.
  • No soft drinks.
  • Little alcohol or sweet consumption.

The analysis had found that a high percentage of them agreed they had a dry mouth at night time and in some cases during the day as well, increasing the chances to develop caries.

To nail the problem, he created a customised plan to reverse or stop the decay process by making some lifestyle changes. Those patients were frequently evaluated after they had implemented the new adjustments to their lifestyles. Additionally, they were advised to start routine dental visits every six months with a yearly follow up radiography to make sure there were no hidden surprises.

Australia’s largest cities have fluoride in the tap water, and studies have indicated that fluoride in water is very useful in protecting teeth against tooth decay. But, it is also critical to have regular check-ups with X-rays every six months, as it is the only way to discover cavities in the early stages before they become an expensive problem.

He usually says to his patients “cavities do not give warning signs”. Sensitivity to cold and sweets are rarely symptoms of cavities, but pain most likely means infection in the nerve or gums and undoubtedly, more unpleasant is the $3000+ worth of treatment a patient is going to have to pay to save the tooth.

Many times we confuse hungriness for thirstiness, particularly before going to bed. It is crucial to be well hydrated, especially if you had an afternoon or evening gym session. Also, consider a low salt diet as this further increases water retention and therefore produce a dry mouth.

Finally, he’d concluded that cavities within this patients’ group who goes from nil to multiple holes, could have been prevented with the most simple and cheapest way, “DRINKING MORE TAP WATER” and regular visits to the dentist.

I hope you find this article helpful. And if you have any questions or would like to be assessed for your current oral health condition, do not hesitate to give us a call on 94273366 – 94186499 or CLICK HERE to be contacted by a member of our team.

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