New research, published in the Periodontology 200001, has discovered that the number of teeth we lose could be an indicator to our quality of life.
Those who have a full set of teeth at the age of 74 are significantly more likely to reach 100 years old.
There was clear evidence that tooth loss is closely related to stress – with social, emotional, economic and educational experiences all having an effect.
Health issues such as chronic disease, genetic conditions, nutritional intake and lifestyle choices all factor in.
Evidence revealed that people who lost five or more teeth by the age of 65 were more likely to suffer from other serious health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Speaking on the issue Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said:
“There are many reasons why somebody can lose their teeth, it could be down to trauma, smoking or just a continued poor oral health routine, it can also be related to gum disease which is closely linked to health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
“What this piece of research suggests is that tooth loss can often be a signifier of a poor quality of other areas of a person’s lifestyle and therefore a higher likelihood of someone having health issues because of this.
“It is very evident that what is going on in our mouths can really be a useful window to our overall health. It is therefore vital that we take proper care of our mouth and pay close attention to what is happening as it could be a sign of something more serious.”