You may brush your teeth at least twice a day, regularly floss and make visits to your dentist, but your teeth may still be in harm’s way.
With growing awareness in Pakistan about exercise and its benefits to health, many people are opting for strict regimens, which include cardio workouts and weight lifting. But what you don’t know is that activities like these could damage your teeth. Did we just make you drop your teeth? You need not worry because we share with you five unknown causes of tooth erosion and their quick fixes, as compiled from the Men’s Health magazine.
A new German study suggests that long cardio workouts may take a toll on your teeth. Exercise reduces saliva, which is filled with minerals that nurture your teeth and neutralises acids that cause rotting. Consumption of acidic sports drinks during training can also exacerbate tooth decay.
The fix: Chewing sugar-free gum during your work-out will boost your saliva production, says the study author Cornelia Frese, a senior dentist at University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany. Make sure you brush your teeth before you exercise and rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything sweet or acidic.
Jaw-clenching is a common reaction to lifting weights, but such pressure can harm your teeth, even cause them to crack. The practice could also lead to jaw pain.
The fix: Consider wearing a mouth-guard, which can be easily purchased at a pharmacy or sports store. You could even have your dentist make a custom gear for you.
Medicines for allergies, depression, cardio diseases and blood pressure cause mouth dryness, which can destruct your teeth. “When you don’t have an adequate saliva supply, your teeth can undergo catastrophic damage in a matter of months,” says Edmond Hewlett, an American Dental Association advisor.
The fix: Chewing on sugar-free gum throughout the day will help stimulate saliva production.
Acid reflux can cause permanent damage to your teeth. The acid from your digestive system can wind up in your mouth, dissolving your enamel just like the acid from soda or sports drinks, argues Hewlett.
The fix: If the molars at the back of your mouth are damaged, acid reflux is most likely the culprit. Ask your physician how to tackle with heartburn. Add husk powder to your diet, which reduces acid in the system, prompting healthy digestion.
Brushing after eating acidic items, such juice, fruit, sports drinks and soda can weaken the enamel and may lead to its yellowing with greater odds of cracks and chips.
The fix: Gargle with water to rinse away the acid and wait 40 minutes for the calcium in your saliva to re-mineralise in the weakened areas. Then brush.
Compiled By: Maria Ahmed
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2014.