Associations between self-reported physical activity and oral health: a cross-sectional analysis in 17,777 Spanish adults

Nicola Veronese, Mike Loosemore, Nicola Veronese, Lee Smith, Igor Grabovac, Guillermo F. Lopez Sanchez, Louis Jacob, Lin Yang, Ai Koyanagi, Jae Il Shin

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background The aim of this study was to assess the association between levels of physical activity and oral health in adults residing in Spain. Methods Cross-sectional data from the Spanish National Health Survey 2017 were analysed (n = 17,777 adults aged ≥15 years; 52.0% females). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form was used to measure physical activity. Oral health was self-reported through eight variables. Covariates included were sex, age, marital status, education, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. Results Dental caries (19.8% vs 27.8%), dental extraction (72.7% vs 75.4%), gingival bleeding (15.5% vs 19.1%), tooth movement (4.3% vs 5.9%) and missing tooth (57.9% vs 62.5%) were statistically significantly less frequent in the sufficient than insufficient physical activity group, whereas dental filling (74.2% vs 70.9%), dental material (36.6% vs 34.8%) and no missing tooth and no material (28.2% vs 25.1%) were statistically significantly more common. After adjustment, there was a negative relationship between physical activity and dental caries (OR = 0.72; 95%CI = 0.66-0.78), gingival bleeding (OR = 0.79; 95%CI = 0.72-0.86), tooth movement (OR = 0.83; 95%CI = 0.71-0.96) and missing tooth (OR = 0.91; 95%CI = 0.85-0.98). In contrast, physical activity was positively associated with dental material (OR = 1.16; 95%CI = 1.07-1.25). Conclusions Participation in physical activity is favourably associated with some but not all self-reported oral health correlates. © 2020, British Dental Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


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