We’ve told you before that too much exercise can damage your heart. In fact, distance running may be the worst thing you can do for your heart. And a new study reveals there may be an unexpected consequence that comes with overtraining…
It could rot your teeth.
A team of German researchers found that the longer an athlete trains, the more physical damage they do to their mouth… But it’s not like the regular wear and tear it puts on things like tendons and joints.
The study reveals that athletes were at greater risk for needing dental fillings, having cavities, and problems with tooth enamel than those that didn’t exercise. Even among athletes, more exercise meant worse oral hygiene.1 But it’s not because they weren’t taking care of their mouths… It’s not even because of their diets.
The problem is that as you exercise, your saliva changes. It shifts from acidic to alkaline. This may not sound like such a bad thing… But acidity in your saliva is what helps digest food and prevent bacteria.
This means stopping tartar and plaque from sticking to your teeth.2 Excess alkalinity over time makes it easier for these problems to surface. And it makes them harder to get rid of. If your teeth already aren’t in the best shape, this might only make things worse.
Another problem is that you produce less saliva during an intense workout. So not only is your saliva not as protective against bacteria, you have less of it than your normally would. Talk about double trouble…
This study doesn’t mean you should stop exercising. Not at all. But a simple change to how you approach your workouts could help fix this problem.
Switching to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the answer. It’s brief but challenging. We’ve told you before that it’s the most effective way to exercise. And since it only takes about 15 minutes, you don’t run the risk alkalizing your saliva for long periods of time.
Try sprinting until you can’t anymore and then walk until you recover. The idea is to sprint for about a minute and then recover for about two. Aim to repeat this process five times.
The right kind of exercise won’t rot your teeth… But if you’re not streamlining your workouts, your risk for avoidable dental problems increases. If you’re already unhappy with your smile, this won’t do you any favors.
Making the switch to HIIT won’t just help protect your smile—it’ll help get you in better shape than ever. But don’t stop there. There are natural, fluoride-free ways to care for your mouth. Try brushing with activated charcoal or oil pulling with coconut oil a few times a week.
Another effective way to help protect your teeth is to cut out sugar. That’s just one of the many benefits our president, Angela Salerno, is already experiencing during our #SugarFree30 challenge… And we’re just over a week in.
There’s still time for you to join her—and help take control of your health… Maybe even feel better than you have in years.