You Control Your Age | Living a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
Aging is a funny thing. When we’re a child, we can’t wait to grow up. When we become adults, we long for the responsibility-free days of our youth. If we’re not maintaining our health as we age, we may also be longing for the days when we felt pain-free and healthy. If you’re living a healthy and active lifestyle, odds are you feel younger than other peers your age. Increased awareness around healthy habits started in the 1960s. This has led to an exponential increase in life expectancy in the last 60 years.
So how old, or young, are you? Sixty years old feels different to different people. This is contingent on how they take care of themselves on a daily basis. As we age, if we stop exercising and eating right, weakness, illness, and the loss of teeth can occur. And these are the things that make us feel old. Remember that tooth loss and frailty don’t come from old age - they come from poor oral and overall wellness practices!
Periodontal Disease and Overall Health in Older Adults
Many things contribute to changes in our oral health as we age:
- Socio-economic factors,
- The loss of employer benefits at retirement,
- Changes or complications with mobility and range of motion, and
- Side effects of new medications like dry mouth.
If we’re not on top of our smile health, these new influences on our oral health can take a toll. Periodontal disease is a form of gum disease. It accounts for 70 percent of missing teeth. It’s commonly seen in older adults. Experts note that periodontal disease isn’t due to growing older, though. It’s from lack of care. The trouble is, without regular checkups at a dentist, you may not even know you have periodontal disease. It can seriously impact your oral and your overall health. Often considered a “painless condition” until it progresses, periodontal disease can be quite painful and damaging.
Periodontal disease is linked to other overall health issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory complications, and cancer. In some instances, there’s a cause-and-effect response within your body. This occurs with diabetes. Dental cleanings can actually lessen risk for someone with diabetes. Conversely, diabetics who don’t visit the dentist are compounding the impacts of their disease. With heart disease, inflammation in the mouth is seen as an indicator for the presence of inflammation elsewhere.
Don’t let your mouth start affecting the rest of your body. It’s never too late to start living a healthy and active lifestyle. Healthy habits like:
- regular visits to the dentist,
- diligence in monitoring and reporting oral health issues,
- and routine brushing and flossing can help you take control of your age, your health, and your happiness! It’s in your hands.
Visit our blog for more on how to have a healthy mouth.
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