When we think about living longer, things like plant-based diets, yoga, and supplements come to mind. But could our teeth play a role? Science strongly supports the idea that the state of our teeth is a good predictor of our longevity and total health span. The better we keep them, the longer we will live.
This hypothesis comes from many years of studying the data. Researchers found that the people with the best oral health tend to be the ones who live the longest. And the causality works both ways. For instance, your overall state of health affects your dentition and vice versa.
Having poor oral health is linked to developing diabetes, some types of cancer, and even heart disease. Poor oral health can also cause gum disease, which can also exacerbate other conditions.
High-quality studies have followed people over the age of 65 and tracked how their health developed to the number of teeth they have. What it revealed was that the more teeth that somebody had, the lower their overall mortality risk. Correlation isn’t causation, of course. But it’s hard to think of how some other variable might be influencing this relationship.
Not Just About Living Longer
It’s not just about living longer, either. Having more teeth is also linked to a better quality of life. That’s why practices, such as Genesis Dental, spend so much time coaching their patients on preventative techniques. It’s nice to have a set of natural teeth that you can use to enjoy your food, even into old age.
Brushing and flossing are both important, but they’re not the whole story. You also need to eat the right kinds of foods to protect your teeth. Other health behaviors help to improve our healthy longevity, including:
- Regularly eat more whole plant foods.
- Try to stay away from anything sugary or processed, even if it is as simple as freshly-pressed orange juice.
- Getting your teeth in shape should be a priority for anyone looking to live a healthy life.