Tooth Loss Linked to Shortened Life Span
Dental health is so closely linked to overall health that a good way to predict someone’s longevity is to count their teeth. An article in Dentistry Today, a clinical news magazine for dentists, notes that people who still have all their natural teeth at age 74 are far more likely than others to live to be 100. On the other hand, people who have five teeth or more by age 65 are at increased risk of a shortened lifespan.
That’s because tooth loss is associated with a number of serious health issues, as well as social, emotional, economic, and educational stressors that affect the quality of life and ultimately affect physical health. The Dentistry Today article quotes Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, a UK-based educational nonprofit dedicated to improving oral health and well-being, who says, “There are many reasons why somebody can lose their teeth. It could be down to trauma, smoking, or just a continued poor oral health routine. It can also be related to gum disease, which is closely linked to health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.”
The Oral Health Foundation encourages regular dental checkups to monitor the mouth “for any signs of disease that could lead to tooth loss.”
Information sourced by Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, owner of Cariodontal, located at 310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck, NY (516-282-0310 / Cariodontal.com), and Manhattan Oasis Dentistry, 525 West End Ave., Ste. 1G, New York, NY (212-874-2880 / ManhattanOasisDentistry.com).