Why? The biggest concern when it comes to aging and your teeth isn't the presence of cavities; it's the presence of periodontal disease, which can have a RealAge effect of making you up to 3.7 years older.
Gum disease (gingivitis) has been linked to many other health problems, presumably because the same bacteria that cause periodontal disease can also trigger an immune response that causes inflammation and hardening of the arteries.
The same plaque that causes tooth decay-that sticky coating of bacteria, saliva, and three-day-old cauliflower-can also contribute to the plaque in your arteries. And that has a profound effect on all kinds of vascular problems, from heart attacks to erectile dysfunction.
Here's a telling fact: Many people in Great Britain don't have regular dental care because it's not provided free through the National Health Service. But when someone in Great Britain goes to the hospital with chest pain, they're given as aspirin, a beta blocker, and an antibiotic for gum disease because of the strong link between gum-disease inflammation and an aging, unstable cardiovascular system.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger