We all know that exercise has a host of benefits for our bodies and even our moods but did you know that it could also help your teeth and gums? It turns out there ere are real, proven links between our oral health and how fit we are. Of course, it never hurts to get more workouts in, but you might be surprised at just how good a run, walk, or time on treadmill is for your mouth. Dentists in SW Portland, OR Dr. Howard Jarvis and Dr. Tiffany Goldwyn always encourage patients to think of their whole body health in addition to regular oral care.
Regular Exercise and Gum Disease
Gum disease or periodontitis, is when harmful bacteria inflame gums. A Journal of Dentistry study in 2005 found that regular exercise lowers the risk of gum disease. In fact, it found that participants who never smoked and who exercised regularly were 54% less likely to have periodontitis compared to those who did not exercise. A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also showed that partially active people, or those who exercise less then three times per week, were 33% less likely to have gum disease than those who reported no regular physical activity. Physically active people, or those who exercised three to five times a week, reported a 52% lower occurrence of gum disease than the inactive group.
BMI and Oral Health
In another study published in Journal of Periodontology from the University of Florida, researchers looked at the body mass index of BMI of participants and also body fat percentage and maximal oxygen consumption to find out about how fit people were. Researchers assessed each participant’s oral health, and discovered that those who upheld a healthier weight and partook in regular exercise were much less prone to gum disease. According to the study “Individuals who maintained normal weight, engaged in the recommended level of exercise, and had a high-quality diet were 40% less likely to have periodontitis compared to individuals who maintained none of these health-enhancing behaviors.” It is also known that metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of obesity, hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes, is bad for oral health. Just another reason why making sure your getting enough exercises could prevent you from problems with your teeth.
All these studies and findings are expanding our knowledge of how our lifestyles can influence dental health. Of course there’s no substitute for a visit to the dentist to get your mouth fit and in shape, so contact Portland dentists Dr. Jarvis and Dr. Goldwyn at 503-244-8112 to schedule a personal appointment today!