Nature versus nurture is a debate nearly as old as time itself. Genes play an important role in determining factors like looks, certain diseases and the odds of developing gum disease, but the life-style choices a person can make a huge impact on life-span. Implementing dental care and keeping a close eye on dental health are just a couple of steps a person can implement to increase their odds of living to a ripe old age.
Data from the World Bank Organization indicate that the average American has a life expectancy of living until age 78, influenced by the three leading cause of death in the country; heart disease, cancer and strokes. The odds of exceeding that number will vary , however research conducted on 20,000 British citizens and published in the 2009 issue of the British Medical Journal have indicated that people can fight the power and can cut their odds of having a stroke (the number three killer of Americans) by implementing four steps:
By following the recommendations of the British study and combining those efforts with a commitment to implementing oral hygiene every day, you can help increase your odds of living to the ripe old age of 100, regardless of what is in your genes.
Americans have a love hate relationship with dental floss and the act of pulling said string through teeth to remove dental plaque. While anyone with teeth should floss daily, the Journal of the American Dental Association reports that only 10 percent to 40 percent of people do. While there a plenty of reasons for why they may skip the oral hygiene behavior, ignoring the act can shorten the life expectancy of an individuals because of all the health issues directly linked to higher than average levels of dental plaque.
Dental plaque is actually a community of oral bacteria that have banded together. The human mouth is home to hundreds of different oral bacteria and in a healthy mouth, those critters are essential for aiding in the process of mastication and digestion. When sugars are deposited on teeth from either drinking or eating, oral bacteria will kick into gear to help remove the sucrose and in doing so, produce a tooth eroding acid as a byproduct. The more dental plaque (once hardened it will be called dental tartar) the greater odds of the bacteria entering the bloodstream and individual developing dental problems and subsequently life threatening illnesses including strokes, heart disease, pneumonia, gum disease and dental abscesses. Flossing is the most effective (both physically and financially) of removing excess oral bacteria and preventing any problems they may cause down the line.
Stress and life seem to go hand-in-hand as reports indicated that approximately one third of Americans suffer from some level of anxiety (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/86705.php). There are countless reasons for why someone may feel stress but regardless of what they are, the condition is known for causing many health issues including (but not limited to) heart disease, obesity, asthma and diabetes. The condition is also known for triggering off accelerated aging and premature death (http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems). That is why reducing stress including dental anxiety can help individuals live a longer life. Estimates suggest that up to twenty-five percent of Americans not only suffer from dental anxiety, but also avoid visiting a dentist because of that fear. In addition to not receiving the proper checkups, cleanings and preventative dentistry to ensure healthy teeth (and life longevity) over time, the stress itself can be extremely detrimental to those burdened with the emotions. When a person is suffering from anxiety, common side effects include headaches, tooth-grinding, dental neglect, overeating, relying excessively on vicesand insomnia; all off which can not only negatively impact life quality, but can literally shave years off of a life expectancy. By controlling stress, individuals can manage their behavior to get the dental care they need and increase their potential life span.
Americans have millions of food choices to fuel their bodies. It is that product diversity (combined with a sedentary lifestyle) that have made Americans the fattest citizens of any industrialized country and it is not only causes people to earn less money (socioeconomic standing has long been linked to life expectancy) can trigger stress and depression but also carrying too much weight can shorten one's life span anywhere from five to seven years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity#cite_note-WHO_2000_p.6-0).
Although "diet" is now aligned with being a cuss word in the American vernacular, individuals who gain control over their specific "D Word" can eat to live longer. The process may appear to be complicated due to the mass marketing of processed and fast foods, but individuals can easily gain control over their food choices and subsequently, their life expectancy. Individuals need to fight against the messages sent by professional food marketers and instead focus in on eating a diet filled with whole foods including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans. Chances are if food companies are paying big money to send the message to consumers to eat their product, profit, not health concerns, is the bottom line.
Once processed foods included soda, snack foods and prepared entrees are removed from a diet, individuals will find that there is more money and opportunities to include foods suggested in the Government's Nutrition Plate into an eating plan. By following those eating recommendations individuals will naturally shed pounds and reduce dental problems such as high levels of oral bacteria, tooth decay and cavities associated with being overweight.
Individuals looking to become a centenarian need to ensure that professional dental care implemented by a dentist is part of any strategy. Research conducted by the New York University Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry have shown that twenty million citizens (or six percent of the entire nations population) received dental care in 2011, but skipped going to see the doctor. That has made dentists the first line of defense for patient’s health, and has made their job even more vital to those who want to live to be 100.
Since dentists are now in the position to properly diagnosis diseases, if you want to live longer you need to see one stat and 1-800-DENTIST is here to help. All you need to do is call us 24/7 and we will provide you with the name of a great dentist who can help improve the health of your teeth while providing you with additional info on how to become a centenarian.