Choosing not to stay on top of your dental hygiene can cause bacteria build-up that could eventually spill into the blood stream, said Walter Bretz, an oral microbiologist in an interview with Live Science.
“Certain bacteria present in the mouth may be related to clogging up the arteries by contributing to the plaque that builds on the walls of the arteries,” he said.
Internist Dr. Michael F. Roizen, who authored several books including Real Age: Are You as Young as You Can Be? Says having the proper periodontal treatment is important to living a longer and healthier life.
“These studies show that the presence of periodontal diseases, diseases most common in people with tooth loss, actually affects longevity,” he wrote.
“The best of these studies done at Emory University with the Centers for Disease Control, indicated that people with gingivitis and periodontitis have a mortality rate that is 23 percent to 46 percent higher than those who don’t, why? They are linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as to an increase in mortality from other causes, such as infections,” he said.
Get out and about
Another way to add days to your life, that shouldn’t shake up your world too much, is by volunteering and helping out a particular social cause or project.
In a recent study published by Health Psychology, researchers said it’s not only volunteering that adds days to your life, it’s the reason why you volunteer that does the trick, meaning if your volunteer efforts come from a place of sincerity as opposed to coming from a place of “Hey, look at me I’m a person of the people,” it could allow for a longer life.
Researchers reported these findings after studying a group of participants since their high school graduation year of 1957, and in 2004 they questioned the study group about how much they’ve volunteered since that time.