Good dental hygiene slows down aging

June 24, 2010 by  
Filed under AGING

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There is a better and cheaper alternative to botox or plastic surgery in trying to keep the years away. It’s good dental hygiene, according to some experts. Simply speaking, “gum disease makes you look ‘long in the tooth’”, according to an msnbc article.

Here is how poor dental hygiene ages your looks:

  • Yellowing and staining between and around the teeth occurs.
  • Gum tissue bleeds, becomes inflamed, leading to gum disease
  • Gum disease can lead to gum recession that creates gaps, spaces and uneven gum tissue makes you look older.
  • Gum disease leads to bone loss and bone loss can lead to changes in facial structures.

Gum diseases, also known as periodontitis range from “simple gum inflammation [gingivitis] to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.”

According to Dr. Donald S. Clem, president-elect of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation

“When gum disease begins to eat away at the bone, there are changes in facial appearance. Once a tooth is lost the bone has no reason to be there. In later stages of periodontal disease we would see disfigurement in terms of caving in of the lips and cheek and wrinkles around the lips and cheeks.”

What can be done?

Plastic surgery may be an option but it is a procedure that only works on the skin. Recent studies have shown that aging is more than just skin deep – the bones and the muscles also play a very important role in facial looks (see previous post). Bone loss is not as easy to fix as wrinkles.

Tooth implants or replacements would all depend on how far bone loss has progressed and whether there is still space for implants to attach in “the most aesthetically desirable place.”

Unfortunately, many people do not put too much worth on their teeth as well as they would, for example, their skin, their hair and especially in women, their nails. However, beauty is not just about flawless smooth skin or perfect hairstyle.

Dental hygienists recommends regular flossing – everyday, in fact. A large part of our teeth’s surfaces may not be accessible by a toothbrush. Flossing cleans the food, sticky plaques and bacteria between the teeth. Visiting a dental hygienist every 6 months is also recommended.

Aside from making you look old, poor dental hygiene has also been linked to other health problems – including heart disease and atherosclerosis.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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