Exercise Can Improve Oral Health In These 5 Ways : These days, while we are concerned about keeping our teeth and gums in good condition, we also appreciate the benefits of having a straight, white smile.
This has seen a global increase in cosmetic dentistry treatments, such as dental implants, teeth whitening, and veneers. But, before heading off to an oral cosmetic clinic it’s worth remembering that any cosmetic dental treatment is doomed to failure unless you have excellent oral and dental health.
Most of us are aware that a twice-daily brushing and flossing routine goes a long way to keeping teeth and gums healthy. But few of us know that exercise can also play a role in our oral health.
If we are consistent with our physical activity, eat well, and take care not to neglect ourselves then it is far easier to maintain good oral health. Exercise can benefit our oral health in the following ways:
Lowers Risk of Periodontal Disease
A recent study concluded that physical activity has a positive effect on oral health. It is linked to a lower risk of periodontal disease. Plaque is the primary reason that most people develop periodontitis. This sticky substance is a by-product of bacteria that live in our mouths, feeding off sugars and starches that we consume. If we do not clean our teeth regularly, plaque bacteria increases, which causes tooth decay and gum disease.Of course, plaque is not the only reason people develop this disease. Obesity has also been identified as a risk factor. Studies suggest that an abundance of fat cells can lead to increased inflammation. In turn, this can weaken the immune system. Both factors can make an individual more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that may be influenced positively by physical activity. We know regular exercise will keep your weight down and your heart healthy. However, it decreases your chances of developing periodontitis.
Reduces Risk of Cavities
In addition to its links with obesity, periodontitis may also be exacerbated by the increased risk of caries. A study found that those who are overweight had a higher chance of tooth cavities than people with lower weights or BMI levels. On a positive note, isometric and isotonic exercises will help you maintain your ideal weight while lowering your chances of tooth decay.
Gets Blood Pumping
Your digestive system can benefit from a good, old-fashioned workout! Regular exercise gets your blood pumping and improves bowel movements. This boosts the effectiveness of digestion and makes you less likely to get sick because stomach bugs are more easily flushed out. Digested nutrients and vitamins provide additional protection against tooth decay and gum disease
Increased blood circulation in all parts of our body, including the mouth, aids the body. Nutrients and oxygen are moved around the body in the bloodstream and are essential to tissue regeneration and wound healing properties.
Reduce the Risk of Diseases Linked to Poor Oral Hygiene
A healthy mouth is key to a happy and healthy life. Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious health risks and several studies have linked poor oral hygiene to other serious diseases. If you don’t take care of your smile now it might not be there later. Once other physical complications arise, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, your body may not be capable of achieving your exercise goals.
The dangers of not taking care of your teeth are vast—and avoided with a healthier lifestyle and regular dental visits. Improve your oral hygiene with a regular cleaning regime at home and regular dental check-ups as often as recommended by your dentist.
Stress causes all sorts of health problems. It can contribute to mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, as well as cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Another way that stress may manifest itself is through teeth grinding (bruxism). Some people turn to grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw when they are feeling stressed. However, while jaw clenching may be something we do during waking hours that doesn’t cause damage to teeth, teeth grinding often happens during sleep.
The habit can damage teeth significantly, as well as dental restorations such as crowns. It may also leave sufferers with pain in their jaws, headaches, and unexplained facial pain.
One way of relieving stress is through exercise—and it is a natural way to boost your mood. Physical activity increases your body’s ability to use oxygen and improves blood flow. In turn, these changes affect the brain, as exercise has been shown to increase the production of endorphins. Endorphin levels are measured by how they contribute to feelings such as euphoria or pain relief and can give people a sense of well-being after exercising.
Physical activity can be a great way to release tension. By focusing on the repetitive motions of your body, you may experience some of the same benefits that are associated with meditating. This can help you to feel calm and clear-headed, which means you are less likely to have those stressful thoughts in your head when you go to sleep, so preventing teeth grinding.
Although more research is required, we are beginning to see the links between our bodies and mouths. We are already aware of the health benefits that exercise, or even just getting up and moving around has on our bodies. However, what is interesting is how the recommendations for taking more exercise can improve our oral health too.
By reducing your BMI and risk for obesity you lower the risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Exercise can alleviate stress. This can stop you from grinding your teeth during sleep, diminishing damage to teeth and jaw pain. Thanks to the wonderfully diverse world of physical activities, there are countless ways to improve your health—both bodily and orally.
Amanda Duffy has considerable knowledge in the field of dentistry and oral health, gained from a 20-year career in the healthcare sector – including a decade in the UK’s National Health Service, and years of experience writing high-quality dental content.
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