When you’re not feeling up to going to the gym, it’s encouraging to know that just flossing your teeth is a healthy and easy way to increase your life expectancy. Daily flossing can increase a person’s life expectancy by 3-5 years because it prevents bacterial mouth infections that can affect the bloodstream, harden arteries and cause heart disease. Even if you don’t like flossing (as most people don’t), it’s worth the effort for a healthier life. Other ways you might not know about show how having a healthy smile promotes a healthier life.
Maintain healthy blood sugar
Over 100 million people in the U.S. have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, which means they have a high risk of developing diabetes. With so many people eating processed, pre-made food that’s full of sugar, diabetes is fast becoming an American epidemic. Fortunately, by maintaining a clean mouth free from gum disease, you can improve your body’s ability to maintain healthy blood sugar. Avoiding gum disease can also prevent other bacteria related health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Another great way to maintain oral health and overall health is by reducing your sugar intake, drinking more water and brushing after meals to reduce bacteria that can lead to gum disease.
Lower risk of dementia
A recent study of residents in a California retirement community found that oral health and mental health have a strong connection. The study covered a period from 1992-2010 and involved participants ranging in age from 52-105 with the average age around 81 years old. None of the study participants had dementia when the study began, and they all answered questions regarding their dental health such as if they wore dentures and what condition their teeth were in.
When the researchers returned to the community 18 years later, they conducted interviews, reviewed medical records and researched death certificates to discover that approximately 1/5 of them had received a diagnosis of dementia. Of the women in the study who reported brushing less than once a day, 21 out of 78 had dementia by 2010, which is around 1 case per 3.7 women. The female participants who brushed at least once a day had one case of dementia per 4.5 women. What this indicates is that there’s a 65% increased chance of developing dementia for those who brush less than once a day. Researchers believe the reason for this is that without daily brushing, gum disease can develop, and when bacteria enter the brain, it can cause damage, inflammation and increased likelihood of dementia and other cognitive disorders.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and maintaining regular dental exams and cleanings does much more than just brighten your smile, it helps keep your whole body healthy. Schedule your exam and cleaning with Creative Dental today to promote your best health.