Periodontal Disease May Lead to Premature Death in Women

In this blog, we have often spoken about the dangers of Periodontal Disease. With this new information published by the Journal of the American Heart Association, it appears that women past the age of menopause have a higher risk of premature death if they have poor oral health.

This is especially true among women who were older, had less education, avoided dental visits, and in a steadily declining financial situation.

 Recent studies have shown that tooth loss is not one of the natural effects of aging. Healthy teeth can last a lifetime and often do when the mouth is kept healthy and free of bacterial infection. It has now been established that tooth loss is a solid indication of poor overall health which can lead to serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure.

 It is believed that most problems with one’s teeth develop in middle -age. Often because this is the most stressful period of a person’s life and the costliest, with such financial drains as mortgage payments, car payments, health insurance and tuition costs for their offspring.

It’s easy to see why dental visits are relegated to the lower part of the list.

But this is a dangerous mistake. As our bodies age, we have less resistance to bacteria and with the mouth being our first line of defense, we are almost inviting future medical problems into our lives.

Scientists now believe that regular screenings, such as those for illnesses more associated with age such as high cholesterol, colon cancer, diabetes, irregular heartbeat and lung x-rays, should also include screening for the early stages of periodontal disease such as gingivitis and plaque.

As in any form of disease early detection can save lives and prevent a disease from spreading. 

Dr. Satit Bhusri a cardiologist at New York’s Lennox Hill Hospital said that recent studies link the dots between a lack of proper oral care and multiple unrelated risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

These are all major factors related to premature death.

 With the population aging to the point where those over 60 will soon be the largest single group in America and with health care costs steadily rising, it is in everybody’s best interest to maintain a vigilant oral regimen as well as the bi-annual dental visit.

Recent studies are making it more clear that it’s not an apple a day that keeps the doctor away, nor is it regular exercise. Maintaining a healthy mouth is key to a healthier and longer life.

 To maintain a healthy mouth, always brush at least twice a day, floss or oral irrigate and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. And of course, make sure to visit your dentist twice a year.

And for added protection, it is suggested that you use an oral irrigator such as the Oral Breeze to ensure the mouth is free of trapped food particles which are the breeding grounds for bacteria and the cause of tooth decay and loss.