Failing to Floss
People with periodontal (gum) disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease as those with healthy gums. While the reasons for the link aren’t yet clear, one theory is that the same bacteria that trigger gum disease may also spark inflammation inside the body, damaging arteries. Gum disease affects nearly 50 percent of Americans, many of whom don’t know they have it, because in the early stages, it’s painless.
A new study published in Journal of Aging Research adds to mounting evidence that one of the simplest—and cheapest—secrets of long life is taking care of your teeth, with daily brushing and flossing. Conversely, neglecting your chompers—and skipping dental visits—can be lethal, the researchers report. During the 17-year study, those who never flossed were 30 percent more likely to die than were those who flossed daily.