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is exercise better for teeth

Is Exercise Good for your Teeth and Gums?


Regular physical activity can result in many benefits for your overall health and wellness. For example, researchers uncovered a link between fitness level and oral health in recent studies. Study participants who exercised regularly Reported a 52% lower gum disease presence than other inactive participants. So, today on the blog, our Lake Forest family dentists share why exercise is good for your teeth and gums and how breaking a sweat can promote good oral health.

Regular Exercise and Gum Disease

Periodontitis or gum disease occurs when an overabundance of harmful bacteria infects the gums by causing inflammation, sensitivity, and bleeding. According to a Journal of Dentistry study in 2005, researchers uncovered that regular exercise might lower gum disease risk by 54% in patients who never smoked but exercised regularly compared to those who didn’t exercise. Another study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey illustrated those partially active participants who exercise less than three times per week were 33% less likely to have gum disease than those with no physical activity. Therefore, our family dentists in Lake Bluff encourage patients to exercise regularly and boost their oral health.

Body Mass Index and Oral Health

Your oral health connects directly to your overall health condition. For example, according to another study from the Journal of Periodontology from the University of Florida, overweight and obese individuals are 1.8 times and 2.3 times more likely to suffer from periodontitis than normal-weight individuals. Furthermore, the study also explains, “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 maintain none of these health-enhancing behaviors.” In addition, our family-friendly dentists in Lincolnshire explain that immune responses in obese individuals become strained and may increase gum disease susceptibility. Moreover, obese patients may experience adverse conditions such as infectious complications and compromised healing during periodontal treatment, hindering gum disease treatment.

Too Much Exercise May Cause Adverse Effects

A regular exercise regimen with medium to high intensity should be sufficient to boost your oral health. Unfortunately, people who intensively train like a pro or semi-pro athletes should know that heavy training may contribute to gum disease progression. In addition, our Lake Forest dentists warn that tooth enamel weakness increases when you consume acidic sports drinks and breathe through your mouth while exercising. Therefore, choose a water-electrolyte solution to quench your thirst and exercise with your mouth closed to prevent adverse oral health effects, like gum disease.

Family Dentist in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire

Overall, exercise is conducive to better oral health, especially your gums. But unfortunately, exercising too much may cause tooth enamel erosion and gum disease. However, those risks are rare because most Americans don’t get enough exercise. Therefore, our Lake Bluff dentists advise patients to instill a moderate exercise regimen, breathe through their nose when exercising, and consume a water-electrolyte sugar-free beverage to restore lost vitamins and minerals without risking your oral health. If you have questions about the link between your oral and overall health or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning, feel free to call Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800 or contact us online today.

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