Bad news for men in their 40s and 50s who lead a sedentary lifestyle. If you have a partner who nags you about getting fit and more active we’ve got further ammunition for them!

Researchers at the Hannover Medical School in Germany found a link between low levels of physically exercise and moderate to severe gum disease in middle-aged men. In a study involving 72 men between 45 and 65 who did no sporting activity and spent most of their working lives in a seated position, a trend towards higher rates of gum disease was observed. Many people don’t appreciate the relationship between oral health and healthy lifestyles, but two are interconnected.

Women of course are also at risk and although the study looked specifically at men’s health and lifestyles, women should also take note!

Why Does Inactivity Promote Gum Disease?

Other studies have also shown that fitter people are less prone to gum disease. If you exercise regularly, have a healthy lifestyle and are a normal weight, you’re 40% less likely to develop gum disease. The reasons for this are complex and we still don’t have a clear idea of exactly how problems in one area of the body impact on other parts. However, as more and more research is done it is clear that if you look after your body you generally have better oral health, and if you look after your teeth and gums your general health is better too.

Why is this? The following factors could contribute to an increased risk of gum disease in people leading a more sedentary lifestyle, and why those who are more active also have healthier gums:

Diabetes: middle-aged men are more than twice as likely to have diabetes than women of the same age. Overall 1 in 5 people reaching retirement age have diabetes. Diabetes is clearly linked to obesity and poor diets including consuming too much refined sugar, and these lifestyle choices also increase your chances of having gum disease. Diabetes also makes you more prone to infections such a gum disease.

Eating the wrong foods: while not every inactive person also has an unhealthy diet, as a whole this group is more likely to consume too much sugar in the form of junk and processed foods. We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth; it is also the main culprit in gum disease.

Snacking: long hours spend at your desk, watching TV or playing computer games makes you hungry. Grazing on snacks in between meals is a real problem for your oral health as it means your mouth doesn’t have time to neutralize the acids from foods that start the chain of reaction resulting in gum disease. Even healthy snacks are an issue.

Healthy attitudes: another factor in why inactive people are more prone to gum disease is a healthy attitude towards your general wellbeing. People who exercise regularly are generally better at managing other aspects of their health, maybe because they are more aware of issues affecting their health. Unfortunately people who have health issues, particularly if they revolve around weight and diet, can often become depressed and dispirited by their health and this can result in them being less interested in looking after their health (including their gums) overall.

So what can you do? If your partner is inactive and spending long hours in front of computer you could share this article with them! There are many good reasons to exercise and middle-aged men (and women) should think about how their inactive lifestyles now could result in a poor quality of life later on. Diabetes, obesity and other chronic health conditions are often preventable with some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. No more so than with gum disease which in most cases is highly preventable with a good oral care routine, and a healthy diet.

GumSaver helps cure gum disease

With its unique angles and long handle, GumSaver cleans away bacteria around crowns, bridgework, implants and braces where other brushes, interdentals and floss can’t reach, making the job less time consuming and fiddly. You get fantastic results that last!

Reduces gum inflammation and sensitivity
Stops bleeding gums quickly
Heals your gums so bacteria can’t get into the bloodstream
Super-soft bristles are gentle on sensitive gums