Exercising, eating right, and avoiding bad habits are often considered the primary pillars of a long and healthy life. But there is much more to consider. For example, your dental health may actually play a role in how long you live. Specifically, missing teeth might lead to conditions that shorten your life expectancy. In this blog, we will consider why that is the case and how dental implants in Mankato may be able to help.
Missing Teeth and Decreased Longevity
Research has found that people who have lost five or more teeth by age 65 are at an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It has also been noted that individuals who reach 74 years of age with a full set of teeth are more likely to live to be 100 years old than those who suffer tooth loss.
Why is tooth loss associated with a shortened life expectancy? There are a few possible reasons. One is that tooth loss and gum disease often go hand in hand. The bacteria that cause gum disease can sneak into the bloodstream and may contribute to a range of serious health conditions, including heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
Can Dental Implants Help?
Dental implants do not truly “reverse” tooth loss. Rather, they provide reliable prosthetic teeth that function similarly to the real thing. There are a few ways in which dental implants can promote a healthier (and perhaps longer) life:
- Stronger bite force. One study found that senior men with a weak bite are up to 84% more likely to die before they reach their mid-80s than those with a strong bite. Dental implants provide a strong bite that can handle virtually any food.
- A balanced diet. The ability to chew well enables patients to eat a wide variety of foods, including foods that are challenging to consume with other forms of tooth replacement, such as traditional dentures. A nutritious diet can lower the risk of many dangerous diseases.
- Improved social life. Loneliness and social isolation are linked to an increased risk of death. Dental implants look and feel almost exactly like natural teeth, so for individuals whose social life has suffered because of tooth loss, implants might prove to be life-extending.
- Prevention of further tooth loss. Tooth loss often leads to further tooth loss, due to dental drift and deterioration of the jawbone. Dental implants help to keep the jawbone strong and may help you retain your remaining natural teeth for as long as possible.
Tooth loss is a serious problem that could shorten your life! Fortunately, dental implants may help you to mitigate the risks associated with tooth loss and enjoy a healthy life for decades to come.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. James Kalina provides general and cosmetic dentistry in Mankato. He partners with local specialists to help patients enjoy top-quality dental implant services from start to finish. If you are interested in your tooth replacement options, he would be pleased to speak with you. Contact our office at 507-625-2021 to ask questions or request an appointment.