The Exercise-Oral Health Quiz, from Your Polk City Dentist

We all know exercise is good for you. Improved circulation, a stronger immune system, a healthier weight, and even an improved sex life are all benefits of a regular exercise routine. What you may or may not realize is that exercise can also help improve your oral health. See how much you know about the connection between exercise and oral health by taking our true or false Exercise-Oral Health Quiz, brought to you by Dr. Hussong and the staff at Cornerstone Dental.

True or False: Quiz Questions

  1. Being overweight is a risk factor for tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Exercise helps regulate your body’s inflammatory response, lowering your risk for developing gum disease.
  3. A healthy body absorbs minerals and nutrients more efficiently, providing a greater supply of both to your teeth.
  4. A dental checkup can reveal early signs of diseases that have nothing to do with the mouth, such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.
  5. Regular exercise promotes healthier eating, which improves your oral health as well.


  1. True—More often than not, obesity is a symptom of unhealthy eating habits. The risk factor of food to your dental health does not rely as much on the amount you eat as it does the frequency with which you eat. Acid and bacterial attacks on your teeth occur each time your mouth encounters food. Eating three substantial meals a day offers less exposure to sugar and acids than snacking throughout the entire day.
  2. True—If you are one of our regular readers, you know about the oral-systemic connection. You may also know that bacteria can enter your bloodstream through diseased oral tissue. The main bacterium responsible for gum disease, P. gingivalis, is able to accomplish its malicious task by invoking the body’s inflammatory response to infection (i.e., inflamed gums). It can inflame other body tissues, too, as it travels around in your bloodstream.  Exercise regulates your body’s inflammatory response, providing greater protection against P. gingivalis.
  3. True—About 90% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, but calcium is needed everywhere in the body. When your blood’s calcium levels drop, your body pulls minerals from your teeth and bones to even it out. Exercising regularly allows your body to absorb minerals more efficiently, thereby decreasing the chances of a mineral deficiency.
  4. True—Another aspect of the oral-health connection is detection. Many chronic systemic diseases, including various cancers and diabetes, can make their debut as lesions and other oral issues. Attending a six-month dental checkup will improve your chances of detecting abnormalities early enough to increase your chances of successful treatment.
  5. True—When you dedicate a set amount of time each day to improving your physical wellbeing, you are less likely to undo your hard work by indulging in unhealthy eating habits. A disciplined exercise routine promotes a healthier diet, which in turn limits your teeth’s exposure to unhealthy and destructive foods and beverages.

To learn more about the connection between your oral and overall health, schedule an appointment online or call Cornerstone Dental in Polk City at (515) 984-6001. We welcome families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.