Health-conscious men who spend time working out may be doing untold damage to their teeth, according to a leading dentist.
Dr Ken Harris, of Sunderland’s Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry, has warned that the trend by twenty-something men to spend hours exercising is playing havoc with their teeth, and although the results may leave their bodies buff and toned it could also produce significant dental problems.
‘A punishing exercise schedule will first of all make them dehydrated, which reduces the protective saliva in the mouth,’ said Dr Harris.
‘And then after a workout the fashion is to “refuel” with so-called sports drinks, which are usually acidic and can be extremely damaging to tooth enamel, reduced saliva means reduced protection from this acid.’
Dr Harris believes health-conscious men must be made aware of the damage they could be doing to their teeth.
And he also warned that the encouragement given out to eat plenty of fresh fruit for a healthy diet could also be a major cause of dental problems.
‘Everyone is aware of tooth decay, but the equally damaging effects of acid erosion from fruit is often overlooked; paradoxically by the health conscious,’ said Dr Harris.
‘Ironically, those following healthy advice to eat more fruit are often the unknowing victims of acid erosion of their tooth enamel, and it is the health conscious who are most in the firing line.
‘We are encouraged to eat fresh fruit as part of a healthy lifestyle, with many choosing to make fruit smoothies as part of a wholesome diet, yet the acid in fruit juice and smoothies can damage teeth more than fizzy pop.
‘Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits have very acidic juice, but also strawberries, kiwi fruit and even grapes will also dissolve the enamel from teeth, which cannot be replaced.’
Dr Harris recommends fruit is best eaten at mealtimes and not as a ‘grazing’ snack throughout the day.
‘Fruit may be the ultimate fast food, but it can also have a damaging impact on your teeth.’