We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, but you may not know that there is a link between fitness and oral health. It’s true, having a physically fit body can also help lead to a healthier mouth. So besides having a good oral health routine established, you also want to make sure you are taking care of the physical health of your body as well.

Fitness and Oral Health

During a study by Japanese researchers, scientists evaluated 1,160 participants from ages 20 to 77 years old and it was discovered that those who were physically fit and had a healthy body weight, had a lower incidence rate of gum disease. This study was published in the Journal of Periodontology and clearly shows the link between high levels of physical fitness and a lower risk of severe periodontitis. The participants in this study who had low BMI scores and high levels of fitness had a much lower rate of severe periodontitis.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious issue as it is a common cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues in your mouth, and the early stage of this disease is known as gingivitis, in which the gums of the mouth become red and swollen, and bleed easily. Luckily, gingivitis is reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily flossing and brushing. However, when gingivitis advances it becomes known as periodontitis, and when this happens the teeth in your mouth can become loose or fall out. This is a result of the gums and bone that supports the teeth becoming damaged; so much so, your teeth may have to be removed by a dentist. The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease often include:

• Gums that are pulled away from the teeth
• Gums that are swollen, red and tender
• Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
• Having bad breath that you cannot get rid of
• Having a persistent bad taste in your mouth
• Having teeth that are loose
• Having pus between your gums and teeth
• The way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth has changed
• You notice a change in the fit of dentures

All in all, exercising regularly is not just effective at keeping a lean frame and improving your physical fitness levels, it is also important to the prevention of common lifestyle diseases such as periodontitis. Make an appointment with your dentist if you are experiencing any of the early or advanced signs of gum disease.