I often reflect on a very interesting Wall Street Journal article from 2015 about slowing the aging process in order to escape age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and dementia. Chronological age is not equivalent to biological age. The article points out that some people who are 38 chronological years measure 21 biological, while others may measure as many as 62 biological years. The advantage of youth is desired by us all. We all want to share in the joys of our grandchildren, and we would do anything to avoid being a burden.
Aging, Oral Health, and the Importance of Prevention
Periodontal health is a marker for biological age. Keeping the mouth free of infection and inflammation has a positive influence on the other organ systems in our bodies. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of continuing health visits. I know it is not easy to make time, put aside money, and subject oneself to scraping and polishing, but the reward more than compensates the effort.
Biology is prejudiced against age and no organ system is spared. The ability to chew and enjoy food speaks more to survival than pleasure. The mouth is a perfect environment for microbiota: It is warm, moist and always harvesting new culinary enjoyments for our bacterial friends.
It is tragic when one’s chewing system is destroyed by a preventable disease. I once treated a woman who had no teeth and could not wear her denture. When I asked if she was in pain, what she ate, and what she would want for herself, she answered: “Always in pain, Gerber Baby Food and the ability to eat roast beef.”
Teeth allow the ability to enjoy life. By making the time to control plaque and keep tissue healthy; you slow the aging process and enjoy a better quality of life.
Today we can rebuild any amount of damage suffered by the dentition, but why not make the effort to prevent the need? Make oral health maintenance a habit. Prevention is a superior strategy to repair. Maintenance visits also afford the opportunity to intercept pathology at its earliest stages. In the pantheon of available dental treatments, health maintenance sits in the most exalted throne.
Make time for yourself and call Adams Dental today at (973) 377-6500.
About the author
Dr. McCaffery believes in the dignity of each person as a unique individual who deserves healthcare without compromise. He has been providing advanced restorative dentistry for over 40 years. His treatment recommendations are always focused on a combination of longevity, aesthetics, comfort, and future sustainability. His goal is to help his patients achieve the level of health they desire and deserve.