As severe gum disease progresses, the possibility of losing teeth increases, which studies say can eventually lead to a shorter lifespan.
The reasoning – according to German researchers – is that as gum disease affects the tissue around the teeth, the teeth can loosen and eventually fall out. Not replacing the missing teeth with crowns or implants can lead to a shorter lifespan.
German Research Study
Scientists from the University of Greifswald conducted a study over a 10-year period – observing 1,083 elderly patients with less than 20 teeth. Three-hundred-and-sixty-two patients died while the study was conducted. The study can be found in the May 3 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology.
- Patients with nine or more missing teeth left un-replaced had a 40 percent greater chance of dying during the study
- These patients also faced an 88 percent higher risk of dying from heart-related complications
The Nutrition Factor
Taking into consideration other health factors like alcohol, smoking, obesity, age, sex, marital status, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the researchers cited poor nutrition as a reason people with un-replaced teeth may die sooner. Patients without 10 or more teeth can’t chew nutritious food and their system misses important vitamins and minerals, which can lead to other problems in the body’s major organs.