Exercise For Your Oral Health! [BLOG]
We’re in the prime time of summer, and that means more and more people are rededicating themselves to staying in shape for swimsuit season. If you’re one of those people seeking to improve your lifestyle for the sake of better health, our Salem, OR dental team applauds your efforts!
We understand how tough it is to get back to the gym after a long hiatus. Making healthier choices in terms of your diet and your level of physical activity are really hard to adopt if you’re not used to it. But all the effort will inevitably pay off for you in the long run.
As you recommit to this journey toward better health, Dr. Hanson and our team at the Oregon Smile Care Center want you to know you can count on our team for help.
That’s right! You might be surprised to know that working out isn’t just affecting your body. Yes, you have to deal with the sore muscles and trimming the body fat, but your exercise also has an impact on your teeth and gums. Today’s blog takes a closer look at what that impact is, so keep reading!
How Exercise Can Affect Your Gums
What Does The Research Say?
Would you be shocked to learn that there’s a statistical relationship between your physical activity and gum disease? It’s true. A study from roughly a decade ago published in the Journal of Periodontology, and one that was repeated about five years later and published in the same journal, showed that participants who engaged in a healthy level of consistent exercise had a lower risk for developing gum disease.
What Does This Research Mean?
Researchers would love to be able to point to these two studies and conclude with certainty that exercising can help keep gum disease from wreaking havoc on your oral and overall health. We wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that conclusion. After all, it’s pretty telling that the same type of study was repeated years later rendering the same results.
How Exercise Can Affect Your Teeth
Don’t be so quick to grab those keys and head to the gym, though!
It turns out, according to another study published by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, seems to suggest that too much intense exercise can really do a number on your teeth. It’s hard to believe that exercise would have any kind of negative impact on your smile, but the key thing to remember here is that the study showed it was excessive intense workouts, by athletes in particular, exhibited weaker tooth enamel than the sedentary participants in the study.
One of the contributing factors to this, researchers say, is that when you workout, your saliva production will be affected. Your saliva is one of the things that offers a protective layer to your teeth, helping your enamel stay strong. Without it, your enamel can weaken over time and increase your risk of tooth decay as a result.
Another possible reason for this connection is that athletes, in general, tend to drink sports drinks that contain a surprisingly high amount of added sugar. Sugar is the food all that bad bacteria in your mouth use to grow and take up residence in your mouth to cause cavities, decay, and infections.
So What Should You Do?
First, we want you to understand that the research on the impact exercise has on your smile is still in its infancy. More research needs to be done in order to show a strong causal relationship between your workouts and the health of your teeth and gums.
But the initial studies show that there is some kind of connection happening there. We recommend that you exercise for good health overall and for the sake of your gums. But you shouldn’t overdo the exercise routine in order to keep your teeth strong, too. It’s all about balance.
Dr. Hanson and our team at the Oregon Smile Care Center are the dental professionals you should trust when it comes to your best oral health. We’re happy to help you achieve that no matter your activity level. Our experienced hygienists, along with Dr. Hanson, will do all we can to make sure your smile gets and stays healthy and beautiful.