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Study Suggests Working Out Can Improve Gum Health

dentist on the Southern Oregon Coast

There are a lot of things you can do before visiting a dentist on the Southern Oregon Coast to ensure a cavity-free checkup. You can make sure to brush at least twice a day and floss every night.

You can reduce the amount of sugar and starch in your diet, and replace those foods with fresh fruits and vegetables.

You can even go to the gym.

Wait, what?

When you’re sweating on a treadmill or during a yoga class, you’re probably not thinking about how all of your hard work will help to improve your oral health. But in a recent study published in the journal Oral Diseases, researchers have found that working out might actually help improve gum health.

Healthy Exercise = A Healthy Smile

In the study of a 160 people in Thailand, researchers discovered an increased risk of oral disease, especially gum disease, in those participants who were obese or overweight, which the study defined as having a body mass index of more than 23 to 25, respectively for women and men.

The study also discovered increased leukocyte counts, which typically occurs when the body tries to fight off an infection, in overweight and obese participants as compared to individuals closer to their ideal body weight.

So what connects our weight to an increased risk of gum disease? Researchers blame our fat cells.

Fat cells produce a number of chemical signals and hormones that can directly lead to inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation then weakens our immune system, making the body more susceptible to gum disease.

Fat or any foreign substance in the body will activate or trigger inflammatory cells – such as neutrophils or macrophages – which results in the production of cytokines that destroy hard and soft tissues in the body, explains researchers.

By brushing your teeth, you’re defending your body from more than the sour smells of the foods you ate the day before. You’re actively working to limit inflammation in the body, thereby lowering your risk of oral disease.

Not only does brushing help to improve your oral health, the habit can also improve your overall health.

A number of recent studies have found a significant connection between our oral and overall health. Individuals suffering from dental decay and disease have a significantly higher risk of developing a range of chronic illnesses that include heart disease, stroke, arthritis, dementia, and diabetes.

The take away here is that inflammation in the body is bad. By working out, we reduce fat cells in the body that cause inflammation and an increased risk of disease.

The same principle applies to brushing and flossing. By maintaining our gum health, we reduce the risk of gum disease and oral inflammation.

Protecting Your Oral Health

Lowering your risk of disease requires making a commitment to practicing quality oral hygiene.

Even the best workout routine will fall short of protecting the health of your teeth and gums if not backed up by a solid oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist on the Southern Oregon coast.

As an experienced Coos Bay dentist, Dr. Lori Lemire can help protect the long-term oral health of you and your family. Call today to schedule your next appointment to ensure not only a lifetime of health teeth and gums, but better health overall as well.

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