Four Ways that Playing Sport Can Hurt Your Oral Health

Four Ways that Playing Sport Can Hurt Your Oral Health

How to get the most from playing sports without harming your teeth and gums.

We are constantly being encouraged to become more active as more and more of our life seems to be taken up with technology driven leisure time.

Playing sports is one way that many of us do this, enjoying the competitive and social aspects, as well as benefitting our overall health.

Although the benefits of playing sports are significant, there are aspects of it that can actually have a negative impact on our teeth and gums if we are not careful. Generally though, any dental problems can easily be prevented or rectified with a little care.

Damaged teeth

Probably the most obvious potential problem is that of broken teeth which we see from time to time at our Ipswich dental practice. The likelihood of this occurring will depend, to a large degree, on the sport that you choose. Running, for example, is likely to be low risk whereas playing rugby is very high risk indeed. Many people that play regular sports choose to have a mouthguard made for them. This will help to protect the teeth and gums in the event of any contact.

Sports drinks

After damage through contact, the consumption of sports, or energy drinks may well be the next most serious factor relating to poor oral health in those who play sports. Whilst most sports require a large amount of energy to be used up, reaching for a sports drink to replenish the lost energy may well be a bad move.

It has been reported many times that the amount of sugars in these drinks is very high indeed, and, whilst it will certainly give any athlete an immediate boost, which may help them in their chosen sport for a short period of time, the energy will not last. The sugars used in these drinks will also stick to the teeth and gums and, over a period of use, contribute heavily to dental decay.


Somewhat related to the above; dehydration can be a significant factor in gum disease and it is important for those taking part in sports to ensure that they are fully hydrated. Ideally, it is a good idea to take sufficient fluids on board, preferably water, prior to an event as this will not only help to prevent dehydration, but will help your energy levels. You should also ensure that you continue to take on plenty of fluids for the rest of the day so that you do not wake up dehydrated in the morning.

Busy lifestyle

Finally, playing sports can be addictive, and, especially if you are successful at it, may start to eat heavily into your time. Whilst it is a positive thing to have a fulfilling hobby, it is also important that you make time to pay the Foxhall Dental Practice a visit when your oral examination is due so that your oral health can be monitored and treated where necessary.

If you have fallen out of the habit of regular professional dental check ups, please call our Ipswich practice today on 01473 258396.