Take good care of your teeth and gums. It just might help you live a longer, healthier life.
In fact, studies show that the more teeth you have, the more likely you are to attain a ripe, old age. One study looked for a connection between tooth loss and life expectancy, and the results found that adults with 20 teeth or more at the age of 70 had a considerably higher chance of living longer than those with less than 20 teeth. And another study found people who had lost five or more teeth by the age of 65 were also more likely to suffer from other serious health issues.
A big culprit of tooth loss is gum disease, which is also linked to a wide range of general health problems such as heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, dementia and even problems during pregnancy. When you don’t remove the plaque (the sticky film of bacteria that continuously forms on our teeth) through brushing, flossing and scheduled cleanings, your gums become inflamed, separate from the teeth and form spaces called pockets that trap bacteria. Left untreated, the process can continue until the bone and other tooth-supporting tissues are destroyed.
Good daily oral hygiene (brushing + flossing), and routine teeth cleanings can help prevent or reduce gum disease, what else can you do to keep your teeth in your mouth, and live longer?
3 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Teeth Healthy!
Eat More Tooth Friendly Foods – Flossing and brushing play a vital role in your daily oral hygiene routine, and so does your daily diet. What you eat can definitely help you protect your teeth, as well as promote a shinier, cavity free smile. Add some of these foods into your daily diet to support your home oral hygiene efforts. What you eat (and avoid eating) will keep your smile, teeth and gums healthy.
Work Out – It’s Good for Your Gums – People who exercise regularly and had healthy eating habits were 40 percent less likely to develop periodontal gum disease. What’s the connection? Exercise reduces the C-reactive protein in the blood associated with inflammation that can contribute to gum disease, as well as heart disease. Staying active lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes by building the body’s defenses against disease, and it also reduces the production of plaque. Give yourself at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. And depending on your recreational activities (basketball to snowboarding), you might want to consider wearing one of our custom fitted sports mouth guards to protect your teeth!
Healthy Sleep, Healthy Teeth – A good night’s sleep is another great way to keep your teeth healthy. Studies show that individuals who report sleep deficiency have a higher risk of gum disease. Why? If you suffer from regular bouts of poor sleep, your body produces more inflammatory hormones. And because your body isn’t getting enough rest your natural immune system can’t properly check these hormones, which promote gum disease. According to a Japanese study, getting 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep a night helped lower the risk of gum disease. Besides the stress of life, what factors can disrupt your sleep? Teeth grinding, severe snoring and sleep apnea are often linked to causing poor sleep patterns. Fortunately, depending on your condition, we do offer various appliances that will protect your teeth and help you sleep more soundly – such as snore guards, or our night guards to prevent teeth grinding.
When you take good care of your teeth, you’re taking care of your overall health. And, really, there’s no better time in your life to perfect your dental hygiene than the present. With healthier teeth, you’ll probably feel better, and it just might help you get to be a “little long in the tooth” too.
As your friendly neighborhood Burien dentist, we’re here to help you stay on track of your preventative dental care. Has it been a while since your last dental exam, or teeth cleaning? If so, please give us a call at (206) 242-0066 to schedule your appointment or contact us online!