How to live longer: a healthy mouth could improve life expectancy


The British are living longer than ever before. A study of life expectancy in England in Wales by the Office for National Statistics shows that life expectancy at birth is almost twice that of 1841. Many decisions diet and lifestyle can help prolong a person's life expectancy. Avoiding smoking plays a vital role, but it may be surprising that oral hygiene is also closely related to life expectancy.

One study, published in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, examined the link between tooth loss and mortality.

This revealed that the number of teeth of a person is significantly correlated with his life expectancy.

The results showed that people aged 20 or older aged 70 were much more likely to live longer than those with less than 20 teeth.

According to Dr. Nigel Carter OBE, director of the UK Dental Health Foundation, good oral health is a good barometer of the body's overall health.

He explained: "Oral health indicators such as gum disease are regularly associated with a wide range of general health problems such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, dementia and problems during pregnancy.

"Many oral diseases (such as gum disease) are completely preventable and are caused by poor oral hygiene.While taking good care of our teeth, not only will our mouths benefit, but positive changes will be felt throughout the body. "

According to Mayo Clinic, oral health can contribute to a variety of diseases and conditions, including:


This infection of the lining of your heart chambers or your valves (endocardium) usually occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread in your blood circulation and attach to certain areas of your heart.

Heart disease

Although the link is poorly understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and strokes can be linked to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.

Complications of pregnancy and childbirth

Periodontitis has been associated with premature birth and low birth weight.


Some bacteria in the mouth can enter your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

The medical site also suggests that certain conditions may pose a risk to your oral health, including:


By reducing the body's resistance to infections, diabetes puts your gums in danger. Gum disease appears to be more common and more severe in diabetics.

Research shows that people with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar. Regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.


Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people with HIV / AIDS.

L & # 39; osteoporosis

This bone weakening disease is related to periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Some medications used to treat osteoporosis carry a low risk of injury to the jaw bones.

Alzheimer's disease

The worsening of oral health is manifesting as Alzheimer's disease progresses.

A healthy mouth can help reduce the deterioration of our health as we get older, says Dr. Carter.

According to the NHS, the following tips are essential for keeping teeth healthy:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth or use an interdental brush every day to remove leftover food, debris and plaque between your teeth.
  • Reduce your sugar intake and adopt a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, not smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption. It's good for the whole body including teeth, gums and mouth.
  • Brush baby's teeth as soon as they appear.
  • Bring the children to a cleaning routine.
  • Straighten crooked teeth with braces.
  • Regularly take dental exams at your dentist. If the problems are not treated, they can cause more difficult or impossible lesions to repair.

There is a wide range of dental treatments available. Some, such as fillings and root canal treatment, are readily available on the NHS. Others, like cosmetic dentistry, are only available on the NHS under certain circumstances.


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