Scientists are warning cyclists about the risk of rotting teeth due to consuming endurance fuels like sports drinks, energy gels and workout bars.

A study of professional endurance athletes, including cyclists, found high rates of serious dental problems, even though they had excellent dental habits of brushing and flossing.

Researchers believe the high consumption of sugary sports drinks, energy gels and workout bars to fuel long intense workouts is to blame.

The study found 87% of the endurance athletes regularly used sports drinks, 59% energy bars and 70% energy gels.

Published in the British Dental Journal recently, the study discovered that 49% of endurance athletes had untreated tooth decay, with a large majority showing early signs of gum disease.

University College of London researcher Dr Julie Gallagher said, “We found that a majority of athletes in our survey already have good oral health related habits in as much as they brush their teeth twice a day, visit the dentist regularly, don’t smoke and have a healthy general diet.

“However, they use sports drinks, energy gels and bars frequently during training and competition.

“The sugar in these products increases the risk of tooth decay and the acidity of them increases the risk of erosion.

To save your teeth from rotting, researchers suggest brushing teeth immediately after working out, use mouthwash with extra fluoride daily, floss/brush daily and visiting the dentist twice a year.

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