Oral Health = Overall health

Let your teeth keep you fit and healthy

When you think about the things that help you maintain an active lifestyle, you might not put teeth on that list, but a recent study confirms that the number of teeth you have is an independent risk factor related to your muscle mass and your ability to walk steadily and at speed.

This is important not just for maintaining your teeth, but also for replacing them, whether with dental implants or with dentures.

The link between Fitness and Teeth

To discover the link between fitness and teeth, researchers analyzed data from 552 individuals who participated in a general health promotion event. As part of the health fair, people — age 40-79 — had many measurements taken, including:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol intake
  • Medical history
  • Age
  • BMI
  • Serum albumin concentration
  • Marital status
  • Exercise habits
  • Number of teeth
  • Skeletal muscle mass

Subjects were also asked to walk 10 meters while being timed. Researchers then looked to see if there was any relationship between the number of teeth and the amount of muscle mass or performance on the walking test.

Researchers found that, after adjusting for confounding variables, men with fewer teeth had lower muscle mass. Women with fewer teeth did worse on the walking test.

Staying Fit despite Tooth loss

In addition to tooth loss, researchers correlated with slower walking speed with something called the Eichner index. The Eichner index measures how much support your teeth give to your jaw, head, neck, and muscles. Your jaw is an important stabilizer for your head and neck, and if your teeth become broken or lost, the jaw can lose its stability. This makes it harder to stay fit and active.

To avoid a loss of fitness as you lose teeth, it’s important to replace them with functional alternatives. For individual teeth, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. Anchored in your jawbone, these replacement teeth can provide the same level of support as your natural teeth.

So if you want to keep fit by keeping your teeth (or replacing them), Dr Corne Smith, Cape Town, Claremont dentist can help with that. Contact Corne Smith Dentistry to book your consultation today! Who knew regular trips to the dentist could keep you fit?!

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