Let's Exercise! A Healthy Body For a Healthy Oral Health

1st July 2023
Exercise has so many documented benefits, and research indicates it can also boost oral health. One published study showed that regular physical activity can boost periodontal health. To be more precise, people who exercised regularly had a 54% lower likelihood of developing periodontitis (Gum disease) compared to those who led sedentary lives. People who exercised three times a week or less could also reap benefits, which means they have a 33% lower likelihood of developing periodontitis.


The recommended amount of exercise to boost oral health varies according to age. For most healthy adults, it is recommended around 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise. Strength training is also key at least twice a week for major muscle groups. People who are starting should do so slowly, increasing workout times and intensities as they progress. Those who lift weights should do so using a trainer-approved workout, using a massaging foam roller to soothe pain. A little pain is to be expected when a person commences weights training in particular, owing to the build-up of lactic acid. Personal pain relief rollers can help, as can stretching and warming up well prior to workouts.


We know that exercise can benefit oral health but it works the other way around too. That is, taking care of your teeth can help protect your heart and, therefore, your ability to stay fit and active. Brushing teeth frequently is linked to a lower risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Why is that so? One possible reason, scientists postulated, is that frequent brushing reduces the amount of bacteria living in the pockets between teeth and gums, thereby keeping the bacteria away from the bloodstream.


Despite the benefits that exercise can have for oral health, those who train intensively (such as pro or semi-pro athletes) should take note that heavy training can contribute to oral health issues, including cavities owing to exercise-induced enamel erosion. Some of the main causes of enamel weakness are drinking acidy sports drinks and breathing with the mouth open during exercise. Athletes can counteract these effects by opting for a water-electrolyte solution, and by aiming to breathe with their mouth closed.


Damaging your teeth during physical fitness and recreational activities is definitely a risk of exercise. Teeth may get knocked out playing recreational and sports activities. Blunt force from a ball, bat, an elbow or a foot can do a lot of damage. But so can many sports and activities that involve motion. Excessive exercise could also damage your teeth by changing the composition and flow of your saliva. More workout hours logged per week could result in a higher risk of cavities. A study noted that there was a significantly higher rate of tooth erosion in triathletes compared to non-athletes. In addition, the researchers found that athletes who engaged in more weekly training had more cavities than those who trained less. Why? People who spend a considerably more time exercising had a higher pH or alkaline content in their saliva, while also producing less saliva. It seems that this combination neutralizes the proteins in saliva that can fight off bacteria and help prevent tooth decay. Exercise-induced-bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) can also damage your teeth. Impact sports and recreational activities can increase your risk of a tooth injury, but so can doing certain exercises like lifting weights. Whether you're squatting or deadlifting, the strain you are exerting from moving a heavy weight can cause you to clench or grind your teeth. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching during exercise is actually pretty common. It also can cause a tremendous load on your teeth and jaw joints. Excessive clenching may lead to chips, crack lines, holes, or fractures in your teeth. We cannot stress the importance of a healthy body for a healthy oral but moderation should be key. Should you come across any inconvenience or problems that involves your teeth while exercising, know that our professional dentist in Q & M will always be there for you.
Disclaimer : All information provided is based on best practices and knowledge. There is no guarantee in any of the statement as provided.