Missing teeth are cute on a seven year old because it is a normal part of life for a child, but what about adults? Should we be concerned if we have lost several teeth to gum disease or tooth decay? Isn’t it just the way it is, like for our parents or grandparents?
That is true if you want the life expectancy of 50 years ago instead of today.
A new study conducted in Finland at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with The National Institute for Health and Welfare found a relationship between the number of missing teeth you have due to disease and heart attacks, diabetes and death.
It has been known for some time that there is an association with inflammatory oral diseases such as periodontitis (gum disease) and the non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the most common cause of death worldwide.
In 1997 the National FINRISK Study looked at the Finnish population, surveying 8,446 subjects, aged 28-75. They were asked to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire and participate in clinical examinations. The number of missing teeth was recorded at a baseline.
The study used information on incident disease events and deaths from the national registers in a 13 year follow up. The data gathered revealed some amazing correlations.
Those missing five or more teeth due to disease increased their risk of heart attacks and myocardial infarcations by as much as 140%! If they were missing more than nine teeth it increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 51%, diabetes by 31% and death by 37%.
The risks for those who were edentulous (having no teeth) were 40-68% greater to die from a heart attack.
The take away from this study and other similar studies is that while there are many contributing factors to heart disease and diabetes such as diet, exercise and hormone imbalances, one important area that is often overlooked is uncontrolled periodontal disease.
Modern dentistry allows for the treatment and control of the various forms of gum disease. You no longer have to accept the loss of permanent teeth as genetic because your mother or father lived without their teeth.
You also can add years to your life by working with Dr. Beers and your healthcare provider to remove the risks that are associated with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Call today to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with Dr. Beers at (575)835-3662.