Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Uche Odiatu: Hi. Uche Odiatu here. I’m a dentist. I’m also certified as a trainer, certified yoga instructor. I love sharing about exercise and the physicality and the benefits of being physically active with my patients. People always ask me “Uche, do I have to become a trainer?” I say, “No. What you have to do is though is be aware of how lifestyle and the patient’s lifestyle habits actually impact the work we do chairside.”
Give example. [indiscernible] actually shown that people who are physically inactive, which is about 90 percent of the population — studies have shown that 90 percent of the population do not have a regular physical activity habit. [indiscernible] actually shown that physically inactive people have up to four times more inflammatory proteins circulating in their body. Let me say that again. Sedentary people, which makes up about nine out of ten of our patients, have four times more inflammatory proteins circulating in their bodies. So, over and above how well they do with oral hygiene at home, over and above how well we as — how we are as good as what we do as clinicians, nine out of ten of our patients will have four times more background levels of chronic inflammation.
So this is something I bring up chairside. This is something I talk about at the new patient exam. I’ll weave it into the discussion of the recare exam. But patients often think just exercise and being physical is about looking good or a high school reunion. However, it’s not just about that. It lowers — a regular physical activity habit actually lowers the inflammatory burden in the body and everything we do. Any disease that ends in “-itis” — so periodontitis, gingivitis — these are all — their flames are fanned by sedentary living.
So, also, how can physical activity positively impact and make the immune system stronger? These are things that people often don’t know because with my certification I get the latest peer-reviewed journals every month, so I am privy to this stuff, and that’s why I share it. I love doing my TIPisodes. I’m able to share it with my fellow dental professionals.
But they have actually shown that people who are physically active, their immune systems to permanently differentiated T cells [sic]. So memory cells build up in our immune system. So it’s almost like the junk drawer in the kitchen. The junk drawer in the kitchen is very hard to find things that we — items that we need on a moment’s notice. Well, our immune system’s very much like the junk drawer, and after age 40, after age 50 and 60, 70, our immune systems get clogged up or full of stale software. Well, exercise — this has been shown in the American College of Sports Medicine journal in 2011 — exercise has the unique ability to defrag or get rid of or purge permanently differentiated T cells in the immune system, so your immune system actually also works better.
I was in a lecture a few years ago by Norman Pauls [sounds like], and he mentioned also that a regular exercise habit also heats up the body. When you think of it, you know, the body’s at 98.6 — a healthy body’s at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, being physically active heats up the body. Viruses only like being present at certain body temperatures, so 98.6. However, a regular activity habit like exercise will heat up the body, and if you’re working out every day or every second day, many times viruses are meant to flee, and they no longer feel like your body’s home if you’re a regular exerciser.
Number three. Exercise. What it does — there’s so many of them, but just to give you examples. And these often — you’re Uche, how often — kind of just roll off your tongue [sic]. Well, you know, slow this recording down, and write down the notes. And, as you’re sharing with patients about sleep habits, exercise habits, you know, are they drinking coffee, how many sugary beverages they have every day, you weave these talking points into the discussion, and you come across like a well-rounded, value-added dentist or hygienist or team member.
But let me give you the [indiscernible] or also about how exercise actually increases the diversity of the beneficial flora in the GI tract. So exercise increases the beneficial — the diversity of the beneficial flora in the GI tract. This is actually came out in 2014. They did a study with Irish rugby players, and they showed how people who are physically active have higher levels of beneficial flora in their GI tract. You’re thinking “Uche, what does beneficial flora have to do with the overall immune system?” Well, the more diverse the flora, the more beneficial flora — and we have about anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 species in the GI tract — so the more beneficial the flora, the more diverse the flora, what happens is the beneficial flora actually interact with the immune cells. Eighty percent of the cellular constituents of the immune system is in the GI tract.
Well, what happens is the flora, when it becomes more diverse, the communication between the flora, your bacteria, and the immune system becomes smarter. And what happens is the more diverse your flora, the more intelligent the communication between your gut flora and the 80 percent of the cellular constituents of your immune system which lie in the GI tract. So more diverse flora, smarter, better-trained immune system.
So there’s many ways you could actually look at this, and it’s not just about spouting off facts as much as weaving the fact that we’re preventative experts the same time as we’re actually treating. But being able to talk whole-body health helps you come across and has helped me come across in my experience like a well — like into total patient health from head to toe. And I find patients love the fact that we look at the whole body and we’re not just looking at the mouth or the gums or the head and the neck and that we know that lifestyle habits impact the ability for the body, for the immune system, to be strong. And all these discussions can be happening chairside.
So all this and more. I don’t expect you to become a certified trainer, but hopefully the talking points I’ve given you you can actually share chairside.
So this is Dr. Uche Odiatu signing off. You can follow me on Instagram @fitspeakers, or you can actually as you’re watching this YouTube video or watching — listening to this TIPisode, you can actually get ahold of me at A Tale of Two Hygienists. Take care.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.