Gum disease is without a doubt one of the most frustrating oral problems that many people are faced with. You most likely have already been given a strategy to handle your gum disease, but what if there were other options out there as well to help treat gum disease? What if the other option was exercise?

We checked in with the team at Dentistry on Lakeshore in Mississauga to get to the bottom of the treatment of gum disease.

Periodontal Disease

As we begin, let’s take a look at what gum disease is. Periodontal (gum) disease is normally caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, and the calculus (hard plaque) that will build up under the gum line over time, leaving you with a high risk of gum disease. When plaque is not eliminated from teeth, it can trap bacteria, leaving you with irritation, inflammation, and disease.

The issue with gum disease is that the bacteria will travel down the roots of your teeth, making their placement within your jaw weaker and eventually, you will lose them. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. The disease itself is often attributed to lifestyle choices.

The Study

Researchers from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted a long-term national health survey. This survey discovered that adults who follow the government’s recommendations on health and exercise were far less likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease.

The study included both non-smokers and smokers who exercised regularly for five days a week for nearly 10 years.

The Results

After the conclusion of the 10-year study, researchers found that participants had a significantly lower risk for periodontal disease than the average person. Non-smokers demonstrated a 55 percent lower risk for periodontal problems while former smokers had a 75 percent lower risk for developing periodontal disease. Meanwhile, active smokers showed no improvement with exercise, but this is most likely because smoking is a large contributor to periodontal disease.

Why Exercise?

If the more active participants had a lower rate of developing periodontal diseases, we have to ask, what is it about exercise that kept periodontal disease at bay? Well, periodontal disease thrives off of being left to its own devices. But if your heart is pumping enough warm blood and oxygen throughout your body, your mouth will also receive more oxygen and circulation. This can help keep the bacteria far away from the healthy teeth.

Another factor to consider is that healthy habits create more healthy habits. When you begin to exercise, you will most likely scrutinize what you have been eating. Food is a huge contributor to the state of your teeth and oral health, so eating better so you can exercise better will also help keep gum disease far away from you. Exercise is so good for your body. It doesn’t need to be anything specific, but just get your heart rate up and going and keep your body moving.

Other Considerations

If you are serious about keeping gum disease far away from you, you should make sure that not only are you eating well and exercising, but that you are also making a good effort to take care of your teeth. Flossing your teeth daily and brushing them twice a day are both ways to help remove the bacteria-filled plaque that can lead to more serious complications. Also make sure that you are paying a visit to your dental hygienist at least twice a year to ensure that your teeth are staying healthy.