The US CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and subsequent studies examined over 30,000 adult participants and discovered that the number of teeth in humans can affect their longevity and life expectancy. The studies discovered that the higher the number of natural teeth preserved, the longer the life expectancy, the lower the risks of developing long term diseases, and the better quality of life. Tooth loss, on the other hand, is a predictor of shortened life expectancy.
The studies found that participants with more natural teeth preserved will have higher life expectancy than participants with less teeth preserved. Participants with more natural teeth will also have much lower risks of developing periodontal diseases (gum disease), heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and dementia. Similar large-scale studies conducted in the UK, Japan, Australia, and China all point to the same findings, indicating that the association between tooth loss and life expectancy is the same across different cultures and ethnicities.
What if you have already lost some teeth? Do implants or dentures count?
Studies have shown that the associated health benefits of natural teeth is superior to implants/dentures, which are superior to having no treatment. It is generally advisable to try and preserve your natural teeth first. If the teeth can no longer be saved, then implants or dentures are highly recommended as the second best alternative. Having no treatment after losing teeth will lead to the worst impact on our long term health and life expectancy.
How should we best preserve our natural teeth?
1) As recommended by your dentist, go for checkup and cleaning every 3-6 months. Your dentist will assess your oral condition and provide you with oral hygiene instructions.
2) Reduce sugar intake, and if possible, rinse your mouth and use floss after having sugary foods.
3) Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.
It is never too late to improve your oral health!
If you or your family have problems with teeth or gum, or already have issues of tooth loss, it is best to have a consultation with your dentist regarding treatment as soon as possible to prevent worsening of the condition that could lead to other chronic health consequences.
Adult humans have 32 teeth, even after removal of wisdom teeth we should still have 28 teeth. If properly taken care of, these teeth can last for a lifetime, and the amount of teeth should not decrease with age. Be confident that you can keep all your teeth for life!
Please consult our dentists for more details.
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