Looking After Athlete’s Teeth

Protecting Your Teeth During Sports


Athletes invest significant time and effort in maintaining their physical fitness, but oral health is an often-overlooked aspect of their overall well-being. Engaging in sports activities exposes athletes to unique challenges that can impact their teeth and gums. There are some practical ways to safeguard their teeth during sports.


Dehydration and Dry Mouth


Intense physical activity can lead to dehydration, resulting in reduced saliva production.

Tip: Stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after sports activities to combat dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate saliva flow.


Impact and Trauma

Challenge: Contact sports increase the risk of dental injuries such as knocked-out or fractured teeth.

Tip: Wear a custom-fitted mouthguard during all contact sports. Mouthguards act as a protective barrier, minimizing the risk of dental injuries. They don’t prevent accidents, but they greatly reduce the damage from an accident.


Acidic Sports Drinks and Sugary Snacks

Challenge: Athletes often consume sports drinks and energy bars that can be high in acidity and sugar.

Tip: Limit the intake of acidic and sugary products, as they contribute to tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming these items.

Water is a better option than most other liquids. But there is a risk of depleting all the sodium (think salt) in your blood if we drink too much water. Taking some salt with the first drink, and eating a balanced diet, should prevent any hydration problems.


Breathing through the Mouth

Challenge: Endurance athletes may develop a habit of breathing through their mouths during intense exercise. This dries out the teeth and gum, causing bad breath and decay. It also deprives us of Nitric Oxide, which compromised athletic performance.

Tip: Practice breathing through your nose to maintain saliva production, which helps protect against dry mouth and potential oral health issues.


Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding

Challenge: Stress and intense physical exertion can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

Tip: Consider wearing a mouthguard, especially during high-stress sports or if you grind your teeth at night. This helps protect teeth from the effects of bruxism.


Regular Dental Check-ups

Challenge: Busy training schedules may lead athletes to neglect regular dental visits.

Tip: Prioritize regular dental check-ups to catch and address potential issues early. Dentists can provide personalized advice and monitor your oral health.



Athletes face unique challenges that can impact their oral health, but with proactive measures, these challenges can be minimized. Incorporating good oral hygiene practices, using protective gear like mouthguards, and staying mindful of diet choices are essential steps to ensure that your commitment to physical fitness doesn’t compromise your dental well-being. Remember, a healthy smile contributes to your overall athletic performance and well-being.











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