Health is wealth. No doubt. But do we realize how many components make up that one-word health – physical health, mental health, and oral health? These are mostly considered separate elements, with physical health getting the lion’s share of attention always. Any health expert who has worked in the field for a considerable time will tell you that physical, mental, and oral health are not isolated components. They are the pieces of the same puzzle – each playing its own role to keep you fit and healthy. We must also note that these three different types of health are all interconnected. A downturn in one of the health states can heavily impact the other two.
When you understand the connection between physical fitness and oral fitness, you will never be surprised that how much you exercise, how you exercise, and when you exercise, impacts your teeth and gum by a huge margin.
Out of all the tasks on your stay-healthy checklist, it is the one with oral health that feels the hardest. Not all of us are comfortable with regular excursions to the dentist’s chair, and a lot of times, our crazy work schedules make it near impossible to do everything for our own body. What if we told you there is a way you can hit two goals in one sweep?
Yes, researchers have now found evidence that regular exercising is not only good for your physical health, cardio, and other parts, but it does wonders for your oral health as well. By being consistent with your exercise regime, you can actually avoid running into dental problems often. It may sound far-fetched, but when you analyze the basics, it makes total sense.
So, let us clear it up by telling you how exercise actually helps you improve your oral health.
Benefits of Exercise on Oral Health
More than 50% of our oral health depends on healthy and strong gums. Our gums are one of the most susceptible parts of our mouth. Weakness in gum leads to tooth decay, bone loss, gum bleeding, gum inflammation, and bleeding gums. Basically, you have to watch for your gum health very closely. And exercise can help you with that. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has found results linking exercise and lowering the risk of gum disease or periodontitis. People who exercised have as much as 54% of avoiding gum diseases than people who did not lead an active lifestyle. Exercise has shown great results on plaque build-up that improves gum and teeth health. Also, much of gum issues arise from inflammation, and much like the effect on the knee and other tissue inflammation, exercise works great on controlling gum inflammation as well. Exercise also imbibes a culture of healthy eating, good hygiene practices, and improves your digestion – all of which can help you protect your gum from foreign bacteria. So, in more ways than one, you can now exercise knowing that you are investing in your physical, mental, and dental health too.
Your overall well-being has a huge effect on your dental health without a doubt. BMI is an index that shows your weight as a value of your height. It is a useful index followed across the world by health care experts to understand the body weight and obesity factor in each person. Obesity is known to have a direct effect on your dental health. As we know, obesity can put you at risk for joint pain, cardiovascular diseases, and other life-threatening diseases. Similarly, obesity is linked to increased sugar intake and other junk food in most cases. Even if you follow a good diet while being treated for obesity, it may affect your digestive system leading to a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. This in turn affects your gums, teeth, and overall dental health. Many exercises can allow you to battle your obesity and keep your bodily functions running well. Specifically, there are exercise routines based on your BMI and weight target that can help you lower the risk of your dental issues as well. Exercise leaves your body energized and revs up your digestive, respiratory, and cardio systems. That means there is less chance of bacteria or plaque buildup.
Who doesn’t have stress? All of us are running around for something or the other. But, we think that stress affects our sleep, appetite, and causes some physical discomforts. However, stress has a profound effect on oral health. When we are stressed, we tend to clench our jaws and grind our teeth. That leads to many joint-related issues and loosening of teeth due to the constant pressure. Stress is also known to be a major trigger for mouth ulcers. When we are under pressure or stressed, we also tend to neglect our health, and irregular maintenance for our teeth is highly harmful. It can lead to gum related issues and plaque buildup. Exercise has proven to be one of the easiest and effective ways to keep your stress under control. Regular breathing exercises followed by routines such as Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or Aerobics can help you manage stress. There are many facial exercises as well you can use to lose the habit of jaw clenching. When you exercise regularly, you have a good appetite. You will stop stress-eating and consume healthy safeguarding your teeth from harmful foods. Exercise also imbibes a sense of self-love in you, and that means you would not miss any of the hygiene and maintenance regimes for your oral health.
As time changes, new diseases enter the world. With the world currently hooked to some screen – mobile phone, iPad, Computers, or screen – our whole body suffers from the constant strain on our eyes, spine, head, and neck. What we may not realize or correlate that easily with oral health, it surely has a profound effect on it. Dental health is not just about gums, everything from your gums, teeth, jaw, and the surrounding bones matter for good oral health. Tilted head or bent postures put constant stress on the jawlines and make your jaw clench and teeth grind in response to the stress. Most of the stress is around the TMJ area (Temporomandibular Joint). That can make the teeth loosen, crack, and even break after prolonged stress. TMJ stress is also known to cause headaches and back pains. But, what can we do if that’s how our work is? Well, most of the postures can be easily corrected by doing yoga or Pilates. Such exercise routines teach you how to subconsciously also maintain the right pressure and help you relax and avoid stress on the jawlines. You can easily feel the difference in one or two weeks itself. By working out regularly, you will also be able to ease the pressure on your spinal cord and in turn, relax the jaw area.
Keeps diabetes at bay
Diabetes is a disease that affects close to 10% of the overall population in the world. Diabetes affects our body in more than one way and has adverse effects on our physical, mental, and oral health. Diabetes increases the level of sugar and starch content in your body leading to an increase in oral bacteria. An increased presence of bacteria can lead to tooth decay, gum problems, and dry mouth as well. Diabetes can increase your susceptibility to fungal infections, mouth sores, and gum infections that are caused by reduced immunity. Regular exercise makes it easier for people to keep diabetes under control. Regular cardiovascular exercise can help you prevent the increase of type 2 diabetes. Exercise routines have seen a great effect on the reduction in blood sugar levels which can prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.
We have been seeing a lot of effect on our health due to the passive and sedentary lifestyle. Invariably, it has started to catch our dental health as well. Dental health plays an important role in our well-being, and a couple of trips a year to the dentist can prove helpful. However, if you want to avoid frequent trips and complicated procedures, choosing to stay active and physically fit is the way to go. Exercise can help you improve your fitness levels and prevent gum and tooth-related issues. Exercise also has passive benefits such as stress reduction, diabetes reduction, and posture control. However, you must ensure that you avoid sugary drinks, smoking habits, and junk food to ensure that oral health is well-taken care of.