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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ai Koyanagi’s work is supported by the PI15/00862 project, integrated into the National R + D + I and funded by the ISCIII – General Branch Evaluation and Promotion of Health Research – and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF-FEDER). These funders had no role in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, writing of the report, and the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, British Dental Association.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


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