How does oral health affect aging?

Oral health correlates with overall health. For example, periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums and mouth. The inflammation within the oral cavity has a systemic effect; it does not stay isolated within the mouth. Studies have demonstrated that people with periodontal disease have an increased chance of having a stroke or heart attack. Additionally studies have shown that oral inflammation may contribute to poorly controlled diabetes. Furthermore, people who lose their teeth due to poor oral hygiene have an increased risk of malnutrition. Chewing food is the first step in the digestion of food. If you cannot chew due to lack of teeth or have limited ability to chew due to dentures, it is difficult to eat a full array of healthy foods, which may lead to malnutrition.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Floss and brush daily. Gingivitis and periodontal disease cause aging of the immune and arterial systems. We do not know exactly why gum disease causes aging, but we do know with certainty that it does. For example, a 55-year-old man free of periodontal disease has a RealAge (physiologic age) that is 2 years younger than his peer who has gingivitis, and 4 years younger than his peer who has full-blown periodontal disease. See a dental professional every six months, or more often if advised to do so, to have your gums checked and cared for. Regular professional dental and dental hygienist care is also necessary to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.