When we think about exercise, whether it’s going out for a run in the neighborhood or heading to the gym, we know we’re doing great things for our physical health. But did you know that sticking to a consistent exercise routine is a great way to protect other parts of your body as well? Surprisingly enough, this includes your gum tissue. Keep reading to learn how staying active can reduce your risk for gum disease in Frisco!
Based on data coming out of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is a long-term national survey, researchers found that people who followed basic recommendations for physical activity were also less likely to have periodontal disease.
According to survey data focusing on a specific group of participants, both nonsmokers and even former smokers who exercised moderately five days a week or vigorously three times a week for at least 10 years showed notable positive signs for their gum tissue. Non-smokers had a 55 percent lower risk for periodontal problems, while former smokers’ risk was even lower, at 75 percent. With that said, data based on current smokers who exercised did not show a significant association for lower periodontal risk. This implies that even if you exercise, it might not matter much if you still use tobacco on a regular basis.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The most common cause of gum disease is the sticky film of bacteria that collects inside your mouth known as plaque. If this plaque goes unremoved, it can easily develop into a much tougher substance known as tartar. While tartar is more difficult to remove, both can easily irritate and inflame gum tissue, causing teeth to separate and form pockets that trap even more bacteria.
Without treatment, gum disease can make it incredibly difficult to eat certain foods, especially hot or cold foods. It can even lead to permanent loss of bone and gum tissue. Thankfully, preventing it is much easier than you’d expect.
How You Can Reduce Your Risk
While it’s clear that exercise can’t hurt your oral health, you’ll still need to practice daily brushing and flossing to prevent the majority of dental disease. Brushing for at least two minutes twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste keeps plaque at bay while flossing daily helps you reach the tight spaces in between teeth where plaque can still develop.
If you’re interested in getting more exercise into your daily routine, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends American adults to:
- Perform 150 to 300 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes to 5 hours) of moderate-intensity exercise a week.
- You can also perform 75 to 150 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes) of vigorous-intensity a week if you prefer.
- Spread aerobic activity throughout the week.
Do your gums feel tender or sensitive to touch? Do they appear red or inflamed? Don’t wait to schedule an appointment with a periodontist in Frisco for professional treatment!
About the Author
Dr. Zachary D. Carnow earned his specialty degree in Periodontics from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. As a board-certified periodontist, he’s fully dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information and advanced treatments for gum disease. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.