The included individuals were described either as following a routine of exercise or as presenting a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity was measured both from an intensity and a frequency perspective. Six of the seven included studies showed an association between periodontal disease and physical activity, and the physically active group showed a lower prevalence of periodontal disease.
The quantitative analysis further confirmed the results. The addition of physical activity to oral health-promoting habits, such as toothbrushing, interdental cleaning, dietary factors and regular dental check-ups, showed a 13-16% reduction in the prevalence of periodontal disease. The positive effect might be related to the impact on cytokines production and modulation.
Both the intensity and the frequency of physical activity played a role, but the outcomes indicate that frequency may be the factor with the greatest impact. It needs to be performed on a regular basis, 3-5 occasions per week.
To conclude, these studies displayed an association between periodontal disease prevalence and regular physical activity, but could not show a preventive role of physical activity in relation to periodontal disease.
A summary of a scientific article
This summary of a scientific study by Ferreira RO et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.