Whilst the main purpose behind visiting a dentist is plainly to ensure that your teeth look and feel as good as possible, there are also significant health benefits to be gained from regular dental check-ups. A hygienist, for example, as well as cleaning your teeth, will be on the lookout for symptoms of things such as mouth cancer, as well as tell-tale signs of general poor diet and bad tooth brushing technique.
One of the things which has to be appreciated about having a healthy set of teeth is that it can often be a signifier of good health in other areas. A diet which is kind to the enamel of your teeth, for example, is likely to be good for your overall health, since it will preclude items high in sugar which, as well as encouraging tooth decay will affect factors such as obesity or the chances of developing diabetes. Over and above this link there is the fact that recent studies have demonstrated a link between problems such as excess plaque and more serious illnesses.
A recent study which took place in Sweden has produced shocking results which indicate there may be a correlation between not cleaning your teeth properly and developing an increased risk to dying early from cancer.
The study in question took place between 1985 and 2009 and involved over 1,400 participants living in the city of Stockholm. The findings indicated that 35 per cent of the people who died of cancer during this period had higher levels of plaque present on their teeth than those who survived.
The detail of the findings was that those patients who actually died whilst the study was being carried out had a plaque index range of between 0.84 and 0.91. The plaque index is a means of measuring and monitoring the amount of soft material and debris which is present on each of the surfaces of the teeth. The scoring system ranges from 0, which means no plaque, through 1, which means a layer of plaque which may only be visible following the use of a disclosing tablet, 2 which means that the amount of plaque is sufficient for it to be visible to the naked eye, and 3 which means there is a large abundance of soft matter. Using the plaque index as a yardstick, it was found that those who survived consistently scored lower on the index, with plaque which scored only 0.66 to 0.67.
The average age of death of both men and women involved in the study was significantly lower than it would normally have been expected to be. The men died at the age of 60, whilst the women reached the age of 61. In the case of the women, this was 8.5 years than would be normally expected, whilst the men in question would have an average age of mortality some 13 years later.
It should be noted that further study needs to be undertaken before a definite causal link between the two factors can be established, with other lifestyle factors such as poor diet or smoking also likely to have an impact on poor oral hygiene. The final findings of the study were that an increased build-up of plaque led to a 79 per cent increase in the risk of premature death. Whilst this still needs much further examination, it is still yet another good reason to make sure that you always clean your teeth properly. Clearly, then, whilst visiting a dentist in London is a means of transforming your smile by accessing treatments such as a dental implant, it can also lead to a dramatic improvement in other areas of your life.
Healthy teeth are an indicator of a generally healthy attitude towards life, and this is the assumption that people will make if they see the perfect state of your teeth. More than just a positive impression, however, it seems as if the latest research shows a growing link between healthy teeth and a healthy body.