When I’m 68

23 Jun

Sixty-eight is the make-it-or-break-it age. My dental hygienist told me this today, and from someone who looks into hundreds of mouths a year — and mouths, after all, offer a lot of information on one’s health — this pronouncement is worth remembering.
She said that in her experience with older patients she has found that around age 68, the teeth and mouth indicate whether a person is headed for continued good health or whether dental problems are mirroring various other ailments. It’s interesting that she landed on 68; it would seem that a decade or two ago the number might have been 60 or 65 — prime time for dentures.
Without more research I am not going to start quaking in fear over that 68th birthday appointment many … many years from now — anyway, I like getting my teeth cleaned — but it is a good reminder of how to think of good health holistically, from the scalp down to the teeth down to the toes.
A quick search on WebMD reveals the big role of dental care in overall health. For instance, there’s that link between gum disease and heart problems that’s come up in recent years. WebMD also mentions a report on a possible correlation between gingivitis — I cringe at that word — and memory loss. Then there’s the link between gum disease and arthritis and other bodily inflammations.
Holy halitosis! I’m going to take a full two minutes with my “High School Musical” Oral-B toothbrush and Crest Minty Fresh Striped tonight!
Take a look at: “The Mouth-Body Connection: 6 Ways Oral Hygiene Keeps You Well” —
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-mouth-and-body-9/gum-disease-health

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