You know that you should be exercising often to stay strong and healthy. However, exercise has a much bigger effect on your body than you may think. Having optimal oral health and avoiding gum disease can both stem from you staying active on a regular basis. Read on to learn more about the relationship between gum disease and exercise.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that holds your teeth in place. This condition is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, allowing plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth and result in inflammation. A few of the most common symptoms include:
- Bad breath
- Red and swollen gums
- Tender and bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
Gum disease has a strong connection with other ailments throughout the body as well. This includes diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Your oral health and overall health are directly related.
How Can Exercise Help to Prevent Gum Disease?
Regular exercise has been associated with a reduced risk of gum disease. A study done by Colgate found that non-smokers who exercise regularly were 54% less likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers who did not stay active with frequent exercise. Researchers believe this is the case due to an increase in blood flow that allows food to move through your system more effectively. Ultimately, your body is able to absorb the vitamins and minerals you need to have good overall and oral health. Due to improved digestion, your body is also more easily able to fight off infections!
How Else Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
In addition to exercise, there are a number of steps that you should be taking to keep your gum tissue healthy. Here are some of the most effective:
- Brush: You should brush your teeth twice daily to remove food particles and plaque that are lingering in your mouth.
- Floss: Brushing isn’t enough by itself. You should use dental floss to clear away food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between the teeth and beneath the gumline.
- Mouthwash: Rinsing with mouthwash helps to reduce plaque and rinse away lingering food particles in the mouth after brushing and flossing.
- Risk analysis: Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing gum disease. Factors include advanced age, smoking, poor diet, and genetics. If any of these risks apply to you, be extra diligent with your dental hygiene.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking doubles your risk of developing gum disease. It is also linked to oral cancer among many other medical issues. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family about the best ways for you to quit.
- See your dentist: If gum disease is discovered early on, steps can be taken to reverse it before it becomes too serious. You should see your dentist every six months for a regular checkup.
Set your smile up for success by preventing gum disease before it develops. By getting plenty of exercise and following the steps listed above, you can keep your gums healthy!
About the Author
Dr. Zachary Carnow is an experienced periodontist who is serving the Frisco community. He earned his dental doctorate from the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry before pursuing specialty training in Periodontics at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Academy of Periodontology, the American Dental Association, the North Texas Dental Society, and the Texas Society of Periodontists. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (214) 619-4990.