Even when your workout habits are healthy, the effects of that exercise could be contributing to poor dental hygiene. That’s right: A new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that athletes have more eroded tooth enamel than those who are sedentary.
And it has nothing to do with chugging sugary sports drinks.
After comparing saliva samples taken from athletes during periods of running with samples from a control group of healthy adults who did not exercise, scientists discovered that athletes’ saliva production decreased, causing their mouths to become drier and the alkalinity of their saliva to increase, which is thought to bump up the chance of developing cavities.
Though the study was conducted on athletes who exercise up to nine hours every week, the research suggests that intense endurance training could be detrimental to oral health.