EXERCISE AND ORAL HEALTH

Introduction

It is clear that exercise is vital to living a healthier life. Exercising can boost our mental and physical health. Aside from being good for your mind, exercise can also benefit your oral health. 

However, studies have shown that routine exercise is very effective against periodontal disease and lowers the rates of coming down with disease in the first place.

Maintaining a regular exercise will keep the rest of your body fit and healthy, which in turn will improve the health of your death. The rush of endorphins when you exercise boosts your mood and will also make you smile.

The big question now is, how many other benefits does exercise have for improving our oral health? Can staying active make noticeable improvements to your teeth?

Let’s get started in breaking down how exercise can improve your oral health and find the correlation between exercise and a healthy smile.

How Does Exercise Relate to Positive Oral Health?

Exercising lowers your chances of developing other diseases or symptoms like diabetes, obesity, cardiac issues, respiratory problems, and many other conditions. Each of these conditions affects your oral health, whether it is in your diet, eating conditions, or ability to clean and maintain your teeth, by lowering your chances of getting these conditions, you are indirectly improving your oral health.

  1. Exercise and Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, better known to the public as gum disease, is the biggest cause for adult tooth loss. It is when bacteria build up inside of your mouth causing pain and inflammation. This pain can also lead to bleeding gums and tooth loss.

In some cases, severe periodontal disease can cause inflammatory responses from your body which will trigger other diseases like cardiovascular disease. By lowering the chances of getting these diseases your oral health will indirectly improve. 

  1. Exercising and Digestion On Your Oral Health

Exercising regularly will improve the health of your body’s digestive system by increasing the blood flow to your intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. This will improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste. 

Maintaining a healthy digestive system will make sure your body is absorbing essential vitamins and nutrients from your food. With the right nutrients, your body will naturally have a lower chance of developing gum disease by boosting your immune system. 

Exercising and staying fit will cause your body to maintain a constant supply of saliva in your mouth. The more saliva in your mouth, the more bacteria, and leftover food can remain in your mouth leading to bacteria build-up, plaque, and tooth decay.

  1. Obesity and Oral Health

Having a healthy body mass index (BMI) is a clear sign of good overall health. When your BMI rises too high you are at risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and many other health complications. Studies indicate that people that maintain a healthy BMI lived an overall healthier lifestyle and had a diet that reflected this. Their diet consisted of rich vegetables, healthy fats, and wholesome ingredients that your body can use. 

These same people avoided junk food and smoking, two things that are proven to rot your teeth.

  1. How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

Every time you exercise your body releases endorphins which will brighten your mood and give you a rush of energy through dopamine, and serotonin. It is these endorphins that make you feel a sort of “post-workout high” and a sudden rush of happiness.

As you continue to regularly exercise and live a healthy lifestyle, your own self-confidence will improve and feelings of depression will decrease. The more serotonin released into your body after a workout, the less cortisol will be released to sour your mood and make you feel stressed. 

Cortisol and high amounts of stress can greatly impact your oral health. Stress, anger, and anxiety cause us to clench our jaws and grind our teeth together, resulting in long term damage to your enamel. The constant grinding of your teeth wears down the enamel inside of your teeth quickly, which can lead to chipping, cracks, and nerve damage. In severe cases, your gums can recede causing permanent damage to your mouth.

  1. How Exercising Can Affect Your Posture and Your Oral Health

Poor posture can cause many spinal problems and structural problems with oral health. A person who constantly slouches may have their lower jaw more forward than the rest of their skull. Due to the alignment of the skill to the spine, the spine can receive plenty of pressure and be compressed by the weight of your skull.

Other oral problems that can be caused by bad posture are:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Jaw strength issues
  • Loose or shaky teeth
  • Pains in the side of your jaw
  • Headaches
  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • Sharp pain when chewing or swallowing

Sedentary, low activity lifestyles lead to poor posture, which in return will impact your oral health. Exercising regularly will help improve your posture and decrease the risk of these conditions.

  1. Oral Health and Heart Disease

Many studies have revealed that there is a strong connection between oral health and heart disease. Those with poor dental hygiene have an increased risk of getting a bacterial infection in their bloodstream. If left unchecked this infection can travel from your teeth to your heart, clogging your coronary arteries and putting you at major risk of a heart attack. 

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