You might not realize this but oral health is directly affected by exercise. It is also true that moving your body and raising your heart rate can help minimize the risk of developing a gum infection.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also referred to as periodontitis, is an infection that develops when bacteria attack the gums. Gums are soft oral tissues that surround your teeth and hold them in place. This condition, if left untreated for too long, can result in loss of teeth. In the beginning stages of gum disease, one might experience inflamed, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. This usually happens due to poor oral hygiene and failure to floss or brush your teeth correctly or often enough. If the condition has developed into a chronic one, you’ll need a professional dentist’s help.
Millions of people have this gum disease but don’t realize it. Here are some symptoms that can help you identify the problem:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Redness and/or inflamed gums
- Hard time chewing
Gum disease progresses in stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. The symptoms can be reversed in early stages with normal oral hygiene. But if it’s left for too long, only treatment from a professional periodontist will help.
If gum disease has progressed to a point where regular brushing no longer helps, it is time to seek professional help. Otherwise, the infection can spread, resulting in a worse condition and a more favorable environment for bacteria. If left alone, the condition will cause your teeth to become loose and potentially fall out.
But it doesn’t end there. The infection can then enter your bloodstream. This might cause much bigger problems, as the infection can now reach the person’s brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Those issues can in tern lead to such complications as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and much more.
How Can Exercise Prevent the Effects of Gum Disease?
Besides sticking to good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings, what else can you do to avoid developing a potentially dangerous gum disease? Colgate conducted a study, according to which non-smokers who exercised regularly are more than 50% less likely to develop gum disease compared to non-smokers who don’t have active lifestyle. Researchers confirmed that exercise helps reduce inflammation in one’s body, gums included.
The body simply doesn’t go through as much inflammation when it’s physically active. Additionally, the body works to stay regulated, which leads to a lower risk of possible infection in the body’s tissues. It’s also important to note that nutrient-rich foods help to improve both overall and oral health.
As you can see, regular exercise will not only benefit your overall health and the way you feel, but will improve your dental health and help prevent some serious conditions from happening.
Here’s a few things you can do besides regular physical exercise, that can help prevent gum disease.
Tips to Prevent Gum Disease
- Carefully brush your teeth two times a day, spending at least two minutes each time
- Floss ever day to remove any food pieces that might be stuck between your teeth and gums and to prevent plaque from building up
- Try to stay off too much sugar, as well as fatty and processed food
- Avoid soda drinks as the acid in soda attacks teeth and ruins the enamel and then the structure of your teeth
- Make sure both your toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride
- If you are a smoker, consider quitting as it damages teeth and gums
- Don’t neglect your routine cleaning appointments with your dentist
All systems in our body are connected, so taking care of your teeth and gums won’t be limited by only your oral hygiene. Solely brushing and flossing won’t be nearly as effective as being fit and having a healthy diet. An active lifestyle is integral for your gum health.
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We are proud of the relationships we have developed with our patients based on honesty and trust. Our Chicago office is more than just a periodontal and implant practice. It is a legacy established in a culture of high educational, professional, and personal standards. For over half a century, Loop Perio has been handed down from teacher to student – each time building another level of excellence.
If you want your gums checked, call us at 312-782-4068