Out of all the anti-aging cult favorites, oral health is quite far at the end of the spectrum to reverse aging. However, studies show that taking care of our teeth is a game-changer unknown to most patients. In this post, we will share how good oral health can keep you looking younger and save you from health problems that come with age.
How does chronic inflammation make you age faster?
Inflammation is an immune response of our bodies to threats from diseases and viruses. However, chronic inflammation impairs the ability of your immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. It also damages your healthy tissues and cells, which speeds up aging.
According to scientists, immune response or immune aging is now more accurate in determining mortality or life expectancy than a person’s actual age. They found out that chronic inflammation provokes the development of chronic diseases that damage healthy cells and weaken the immune system, causing a deadly and vicious loop.
Tooth decay and periodontal disease are among the common triggers of chronic inflammation. Periodontal disease, in particular, is an inflammatory disease that ages your immune health and lowers your resistance to other chronic diseases. However, if managed properly and it hasn’t progressed to bone loss (periodontitis), it can be stabilized, and, in some cases, reversed.
Due to weakened immune response from gum disease, the cavity-causing bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause systemic inflammation to other parts of your body. You become more at risk for several medical conditions, such as:
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: According to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the bacteria in gum disease can travel to the brain and contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.
- Heart disease, stroke, and heart attack: Chronic inflammation due to gum disease is a contributing factor in the development of atherosclerosis, which causes coronary heart disease and increases your risk for stroke and heart attacks.
- Pneumonia: The bacteria due to gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and enter the lungs. According to this study, patients with severe periodontal disease become more at risk of respiratory disease due to impaired immune health.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Inflammation also links both rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease. The disease-causing bacteria can trigger inflammation that will make both gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis worse.
Aside from the health implications of gum disease and tooth infection, chronic inflammation or inflammageing also contributes to oxidative stress that causes free radicals in the blood. Free radicals affect our DNA and speed up skin aging.
Bruxism or chronic teeth grinding is also a contributing factor for accelerated aging. The constant pressure to the upper and lower jaw can distort the shape of your face and cause stress on the jaw muscles.
Tips to reverse aging through oral care
As cliché as it can be, the secret to a younger-looking face and body is avoiding inflammation at all costs, including conditions like gum disease. Gum disease has no symptoms in its early stage. According to these studies, patients brushing their teeth twice a day are 70% less at risk for heart disease and heart attack.
You can also ramp up your preventive oral care by following these tips:
- Being consistent with your oral hygiene: Always brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. You can also use an oral rinse or mouthwash to help fight cavity-causing bacteria.
- Visiting your dentist every six months: Regular brushing and flossing may not be enough to get rid of the plaque and tartar buildup on the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Visiting your dentist and dental hygienist can help you clean your teeth and assess the condition of your oral health.
- Avoiding delay on dental treatments for dental emergencies: A simple filling can turn to tooth root infection in just a matter of days. Don’t let infection stand a chance and get treated as soon as you experience pain, swelling, and bleeding.
Other ways to reverse aging and delay age-related health problems
Aside from taking care of your teeth and gums, the secrets to reverse aging are in your habits. Some patients are hooked on anti-aging quick fixes and treatments that they forget the simple ways to reverse signs of aging. Go back to the basics and age gracefully by following these tips:
#1 Fall in love with the habit of sleeping: Sleep reboots your body by regenerating new cells, relaxing your muscles, refreshing your brain, and helping your heart and blood vessels take a rest. Therefore, sleeping reduces oxidative stress that damages your body and causes inflammation and a weak immune system.
#2 Be mindful of what you eat: Your diet tells a lot about your health. Eat your food in moderation and try to avoid inflammatory foods, and choose anti-inflammatory alternatives in your meals like:
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies)
- Berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- Green tea
- Ginger and turmeric
- Virgin olive oil
#3 Keep a healthy body weight: Studies show that patients with an active lifestyle have longer chromosome caps that make their biological age, or the age of their bodies, nine years younger than their actual age. Manage your weight and stay active by squeezing in a quick 10 to 20-minute workout 3 to 4 days a week. Exercise also encourages the production of collagen, which is good for your skin and joint health.
#4 Limit your alcohol intake and avoid smoking: Try to limit your alcohol intake and find healthier alternatives for your alcoholic drinks. There are already a variety of non-alcoholic beers in the market. However, it would be best to opt it out of your diet.
Let Landmark Dentistry help you reverse aging and achieve a young and beautiful you
According to James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, we are usually driven by the desire to get a result rather than the act of achieving it. Building healthy oral habits to reverse aging would be easier if you focus on having a young face and a healthy body rather than stressing yourself on how to achieve them.
In your quest to reverse your aging process, let our dental team keep your oral health in the best shape possible. Landmark Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services in Charlotte, Matthews, Mallard Creek, and Wesley Chapel. Our services include:
- Preventive dentistry
- Dental restorations
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Full mouth reconstruction
- Periodontal therapy
- Sleep apnea treatments
Schedule an appointment now and let us work together in keeping you healthy and young in heart, mind, and body.
As we strive to provide you with the best dental experience possible, we are implementing COVID-19 safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. Check our new normal guidelines here.