Dr. Reena On the Importance of Dental Health for Athletes and All

Dr. Reena joins Listen In With KNN

On the 195th episode of “Listen In With KNN” sports talk radio/podcast show presented by FOX Sports Radio 1340AM/96.9 FM, executive producer and host Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomed special guest Dr. Reena Wadia, one of the world’s leading dental experts to the show. Dr. Reena joined the show from across the pond in London, England 

Inspired by her dentist at 11-years-old, Dr. Reena knew she wanted to get into the dental industry. Nelson asked Dr. Reena about how it feels to have her own periodontal practice and fulfilling her dream. Dr. Reena said, “Sometimes I have to pinch myself in the morning, it’s absolutely amazing.”

Many people tend to separate their oral health and the rest of their body, when in fact they are all connected. “In the past, people used to see the mouth and the body in isolation which is quite interesting when you think about it because really the whole body is connected,” said Dr. Reena. 

This mindset has changed after various studies have proven otherwise said Dr. Reena. “I think in the last few years, the language of dentistry has changed and people are now integrating and treating people holistically,” said Dr. Reena.

Poor gum health can lead to a decrease in performance for athletes. “It’s often that the mouth is put to one side and actually when you look into the studies it’s such an important part of performance,” said Dr. Reena.

Because of specific diets that athletes must maintain, their mouths can be affected without them realizing it until it becomes painful. Nutrition (such as consuming many carbohydrates), dry mouth, and stress are all reasons that lead to poor oral health, according to Dr. Reena.

Gum disease can also lead to other conditions that can be more serious. “What we do know is that there is great evidence that suggests that having gum inflammation and gum disease does increase your chance of conditions like diabetes,” said Dr. Reena.

An interesting finding is that if you already have diabetes, there are increased chances for complications when having gum disease as well. Dr. Reena said that “Gum disease is inflammatory, and without getting too technical, many of the other conditions it’s linked to are also inflammatory.”

Dr. Wadia offered many tips for optimal gum health for both athletes and all people.

  • Brush your teeth with an electrical toothbrush twice a day. According to Dr. Reena, electric toothbrushes are “far more effective than using a normal toothbrush”.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth after you brush. It will take some getting used to, but it will be more effective.
  • Clean between your teeth with interdental brushes and/or floss. If you don’t do this, you’ll miss about half of the surfaces, says Dr. Wadia.
  • Have holistic cleanings that include your tongue. Dr. Wadia encourages tongue scrapers, which can be found on the RW Perio Shop. “It’s kind of like a detox at the end of the day. You’ve built up all that bacteria over the day…it’s a nice time to just relax and have some ‘me time’,” said Dr. Reena. 
  • For those who drink acidic or sugary drinks, don’t constantly sip on them all day. This does not allow for your mouth to have a break. 
  • Visit your dental professional frequently. The timing depends on your individual needs.

Many people who visit Dr. Reena at RW Perio, her private periodontal practice, seek a better smile and aesthetic work on their gums. “Health is the first step to aesthetics. Health is the first step to a beautiful smile, and it should be the main focus initially,” said Dr. Reena.

To learn more about dental health for athletes and all, listen to the episode here! Stay tuned to RW Perio’s Instagram for updates on new products, the global teaching academy for professionals that Dr. Wadia launched recently, and a potential expansion to the USA! You can also find Dr. Wadia on Instagram