Why Leading an Active Lifestyle and Eating Healthily are Great Allies for Dental Health
There is a powerful link between the lifestyle you choose and the state of your oral health. One study published in the Journal of Dentistry, for instance, showed that exercising regularly could help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. Inflamed, diseased gums are a major health risk, since they are closely tied in to both tooth loss and heart disease. Losing teeth is an issue that is not only painful but also expensive. Implants can cause thousands of dollars (around $3,000 minimum), so staying active and backing activity with a healthy Mediterranean diet will help keep your mouth in tip-top condition.
In the above study, it was found that undertaking the recommended level of exercise is linked to a lower likelihood of periodontitis. In particular, people who never smoke and were physically active had a 54% lower risk of periodontitis than those who never smoked but did not work out. Surprisingly, the effects were even greater in former smokers, the prevalence of which was 74% for those who did exercise regularly.
Seniors and Exercise
If you are over 65, staying active is a key pillar in keeping your gums healthy. This is because seniors have more oral issues than younger members of the population. Some of these problems include gum disease, tooth loss, stomatitis, and root decay. This means that the older you get, the more of a push you need to make in terms of both diet and exercise. Exercise can also help stave off diseases that tend to arise in older age— including heart disease.
Importance of Diet
Even if you exercise daily, you are unlikely to avoid plaque buildup and gum inflammation if you consume a high-sugar diet. For oral health, the Mediterranean diet is often recommended by doctors and dentists. This ‘diet’ is, essentially, a lifestyle that involves the consumption of healthy lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, and healthy, Omega-3-rich fats. The latter are particularly powerful against inflammation and can therefore play a role in promoting gum health and in keeping teeth securely rooted.
Getting More Omega-3s into your Diet
It can be pretty to easy to comply with the other requirements of the Mediterranean diet, but you may wonder how to incorporate more Omega-3 essential fatty acids into your meal. Try doing so by consuming more fatty fish (Alaskan wild salmon is an optimal source of these fats and tuna and mackerel are good choices). You can also add flaxseeds, walnuts, or chia seeds to your dishes. If you cook, avoid corn and sunflower oil and opt instead for cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil — known as one of the purest sources of Omega-3s.
“Sound body, sound mind,” the saying goes, but you could just as well replace the world ‘mind’ with ‘mouth.’ What you eat and how active you are have direct implications for oral health. Keeping gums healthy will ensure teeth stay firmly rooted and will keep cavities from forming beneath the gum line. Embracing an active lifestyle and eating healthily will do plenty to reduce the need for expensive and painful dental interventions.