The mouth is a useful window to see the state of one’s overall health. A new study published in Periodontology 2000 shows that tooth loss can, in fact, be a major predictor for a person’s life expectancy. The findings reveal that those with a complete set of pearly whites at 74 years old are more likely to live longer compared to their counterparts with missing teeth.
Stress Can Take a Toll on a Person’s Teeth
Stress can harm the body in different ways; it can cause high blood pressure, headaches and heart disease, to name a few. Demi Moore, a 54-year old actress who recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, revealed her dental issues, sharing that stress caused her two front teeth to fall out. Having a constant negative state of mind can, therefore, allow oral bacteria and trigger periodontal disease. Getting an important handle on stress goes a long way in improving mental and overall health.
Tooth Loss Contributes to an Increased Risk of Life-Limiting Diseases
The Oral Health Foundation (OHF) maintains that physical stress and poor health often manifests in the mouth early. Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, the lack of proper nutrition, and failing to keep a proper oral health routine can affect an individual’s quality of life. As a result, it can shorten a person’s life expectancy. Findings from the study show that those who had lost five teeth or more were at a greater risk of serious health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle and Proper Oral Care
For a longer and better quality of life, people have the responsibility to pay close attention to their oral health. The OHF urges patients to maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dentist at least twice a year. Apart from putting a person at a higher risk of developing a life-limiting disease, oral problems could eventually lead to tooth loss, thereby affecting a person’s ability to eat and communicate. By visiting the dentist, however, people can consider the tooth replacement options available like dental implants and restore the beauty of their smile.
The secret to living longer is simple: practice good dental habits. Healthy gums and teeth can, after all, ward off a range of life-limiting conditions.