Importance of Oral Health in Overall Health as We Age

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Are you taking good care of your chompers?

I sure hope so, seeing as how good oral care is the key to having a winning smile.

But it’s actually a lot more than that.

Studies have shown that paying attention to oral health plays a tremendous role in… pause for effect…  your overall health as you age.

Sounds odd, right?

Can regular visits to the dentist do anything to, say, improve cardiovascular health? Or can it help control glucose levels?

Surprisingly, that might be the case – which is why after reading this post from start to finish, you should schedule a visit with your dentist at your earliest convenience.

Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

We’ve all been taught in school that we need to brush at least twice a day, and it wouldn’t hurt to do a bit of flossing for good measure.

But what exactly do we get out of spending two minutes in front of the bathroom mirror every morning and night?


Proper oral care can improve saliva production levels to flush decay-causing food remnants. Dry mouth is typically caused by medication and age, but not drinking enough fluids or using an alcohol-based mouthwash can also lead to dryness.

Also, the goal is to protect tooth enamel from premature wear which can make chewing and drinking a painful process. This is particularly worrisome for older patients whose enamel has worn away to a dangerously thin layer.

But we should all be extra aware of gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. These conditions are typically caused by untreated plaque – a sticky biofilm of bacteria that thrives on surfaces inside of the mouth – and without treatment can cause some pretty heartbreaking diseases (literally).

Periodontitis: A Silent Killer

More than 64 million Americans are living, either knowingly or unknowingly, with some form of gum disease.

Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease that destroys the tissue and bone that keep your teeth upright. The cause of this painful, potentially tooth-killing disease is (you guessed it) poor oral hygiene.

And losing teeth is just one of periodontitis’ many ill effects.

Diabetes Complications

For our diabetic readers or those of you at risk of diabetes (either genetically or through an unhealthy lifestyle), we invite you to pay close attention to the following paragraphs.

Periodontitis and diabetes practically go hand and hand, and they create a vicious, never-ending cycle of pain and misery.

Researchers have established that diabetes plays a role in developing periodontitis which, in turn, puts the patient at greater risk of elevated fasting blood sugar levels.

Why this happens is anyone’s guess, but researchers speculate that germs from chewing or brushing your teeth leak into your bloodstream and can cause a spike in glucose.

Heart Disease

What about our hearts? Surely the love muscle has enough plaque to deal with, right?

Dr. Hatice Hasturk of Forsyth Institute suggested that gum disease increases inflammation which is a contributor to plaque buildup in the arteries. And if there’s one thing we should be wary of for the sake of our future selves, it’s inflammation.

I mentioned earlier that brushing your teeth with infected gums can send germs swimming into your bloodstream. Well, it’s precisely that which causes them to travel freely around our bodies and potentially leads inflamed joints and infected heart valves.

But there is a silver lining (if you want to call it that).

There is no concrete proof linking gum disease and cardiovascular disease, nor is there evidence that treating poor oral hygiene can quell heart problems. However, dentists and health physicians alike should still be on high-alert just in case science uncovers a hidden connection.

Why Older People Are at Risk

Gum disease can strike at any age – starting from our 20s all the way up to our golden years.

Unfortunately, it’s the older folks who have a tougher time dealing with the potentially fatal condition.

In many cases, poor oral hygiene occurs through no fault of their own.

For instance, dementia patients may neglect to brush and floss regularly, and dealing with dentists can be daunting to those with psychological disorders.

As for our parents and grandparents in nursing homes, they aren’t better off. A vast majority of nursing home patients are not given proper oral care by their caregivers despite federal laws.

Molecular Hydrogen for Better Teeth

Have I got some wonderful news for you!

Molecular Hydrogen, a selective antioxidant that treats oxidative stress and slows down aging, can also do wonders for your teeth!

The periodontal status of hydrogen-rich water drinkers after two, four, and eight weeks of testing showed improved oral care and improved periodontitis.

Molecular hydrogen tablets work by slowly breaking away at dental biofilm, a thin film of bacteria that adheres to the surface of teeth and leads to gum disease.

So preparing a beverage fortified with hydrogen won’t just keep you looking younger for longer, but you’ll also have a reason to smile.

Go Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist!

Please do all that you can to take care of your teeth and gums. As Dr. James Rota so eloquently puts it, your mouth reflects the entire health of your body. If you can maintain healthy oral hygiene well into your later years, you’ll be at much less risk of serious age-related chronic diseases.

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