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An article that is an Internet favorite is often 10 or 15 “Habits or Lifestyle Choices” that will prolong your life. Almost always listed is either flossing (which has statistically been shown to extend the regular flosser’s life 6.4 years) or regular visits to the dentist. How could such a simple a set of tasks can have so much impact?

The answer is really very simple – keeping one’s self clean is a major factor in any disease prevention. I read once when the scientists who examine trends in public health evaluated the changes in the average American’s life expectancy, the introduction of indoor plumbing was linked to a major increase in the USA average lifespan! Indoor plumbing made being clean easier and more conveniant. The above picture shows a patient who has not had a professional dental cleaning in several years! Not only are the lower teeth covered in plaque and calculus (commonly called tarter) which are soft and calcified bacterial colonies, you can see the gum tissue is red, indicating inflammation! Not wanting to make this blog entry to medically complicated, let’s leave it to say that today’s medical and dental researchers strongly believe that any form of long term (chronic) inflammation is a key factor in many of our body’s most destructive conditions including heart disease, GI disorders, Diabetes, respiratory ailments and more!

This second picture is taken immediately after a preliminary cleaning and already the gum tissue has started to appear healthier! No plaque and no tarter, so no inflammation and so one less place where the negatives of chronic inflammation can arise! That’s where the flossing and regular, routine professional dental care comes into play. Your dentist and their dental team are all part of a partnership for good health! You do your job on a daily basis at home and your dental team does their job to remove what you can’t. So don’t delay, if your not actively engaged in this type of relationship, start today! You have years of quality life waiting for you!

Wishing all my readers a Happy and Healthy New Year!