Inactive, middle aged men are more likely to develop gum disease compared to men who are active and exercise regularly.
Researchers from Hannover Medical School studied over 70 healthy men who did no sports, took little exercise and did a desk-based job which involved predominantly sitting down. They discovered moderate to severe gum disease was associated with these men aged 45-65, most of who worked in offices.
The results showed high age and low levels of physical activity were associated with moderate to severe gum disease.
Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults and most people have some form of it but it develops very slowly in most people and can be slowed down that should mean you keep most of your teeth for life.
There has been research carried out previously that has also confirmed people who exercise regularly, lead a healthy lifestyle and have a normal weight are 40 per cent less likely to develop gum disease.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, who is the Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation reminded people, especially those mentioned in the study, about the importance of good oral health.
Dr Carter said: “People see the health of their mouth and the health of their body as two very different things, but it is becoming increasingly clear that this just isn’t the case. This research pinpoints a very high-risk group who need to review their current habits.
“Whether you have concerns about the state of your teeth or your general health and fitness, you need to consider the bigger picture.
“Gum disease affects around 19 out of 20 of us at some point in our lives. As well as links to a whole host of general health conditions, it is also by far the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
“Desk grazing may seem relatively harmless, but constantly snacking on crisps, chocolate, dried fruit and sugary drinks cause teeth a whole host of nightmares. Frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks naturally weakens the enamel on the teeth, and as a result, the Foundation recommends eating three square meals a day instead of having seven to ten ‘snack attacks’. If people do snack between meals, choose foods and drinks that do not contain sugar, limiting the amount of time the mouth is at risk.”
Dr Carter continued: “We already know that poor oral health can have a negative effect on the rest of your body and the fact that gum disease increases your chances of developing heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and low birth weight babies needs to be taken very seriously indeed.
“To stay healthy you need to adopt a good routine that includes, but isn’t limited to, brushing for two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cutting down how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
“If you are serious about your health – and your teeth – you should also clean in between your teeth with interdental brushes or floss. If your gums do start to bleed this is a sign that you may have not been cleaning well enough so increase your toothbrushing. If things do not settle within a few days get along to the dentist before the problem becomes irreversible and you start to lose teeth.”
If you are concerned about your oral health you should make an appointment at your dentist and remember to attend regular check ups. You can also always visit your local pharmacy for some good, free advice about looking after your teeth and gums at any time and they also stock a comprehensive range of products to help keep your mouth in tip top condition.