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Most of the time when you run across some information on anti-aging, it focuses on the things that make you look and feel older…
The wrinkles… the lack of energy… and even, yes, a waning sex life. But there’s one thing that gets very little attention — and that’s your mouth.
Oh, you may be 60 with a great set of pearly whites, but there is something sneaky that can take that from you before you know it. But it turns out that if you’re on the anti-aging bandwagon — the right one that focuses on slowing the signs of aging from the inside out — you’re probably safe.
But if you think all the great insight into how certain nutrients can improve the way you age — ultimately improving your health — is a bunch of hogwash, then you could end up with a mouthful of hurt…
Don’t take your smile or your health for granted
It’s not a mystery that as you age, your body’s immune response declines. On top of that, your body becomes less efficient at using nutrients from the foods you eat to support optimal health.
That makes it even more important to eat more of the right things — like fruit, fiber, and vegetables — and to supplement with nutrients that provide more bang.
If you’re just leaving this all to chance, you’ll find you’ll get sick more often, and your body becomes more prone to disease. Even your mouth…
Despite great hygiene habits, periodontal disease is prevalent in seniors.
Bleeding gums may be your first sign that your gums are infected. Your teeth may even become so loose they come out. Even your jawbone can become infected.
You probably already know about the connections between gum disease and your body. The health of your mouth can impact your risk of…
- Atherosclerosis and heart disease
- Respiratory disease
And recently, it’s been found that, for women, periodontal disease is tied to an elevated risk of esophageal, breast and gallbladder cancers.
The good news is these things are not inevitable. Especially if you learn to supplement to protect your dental health as much as you may already do to protect the health of your body.
How to keep your teeth and your health
There are four specific supplements that you should be taking to help keep a healthy mouth. And as I mentioned earlier on, they are supplements that can also improve the overall aging of your body — so that’s a win-win, right?
According to registered dental hygienist, Bobbie DelSasso, RDH, BS, Loma Linda University researchers found that these supplements alone were so powerful at combating the effects of periodontal disease, that the study participants didn’t require any additional dental treatment.
What supplements are we talking about? Grape seed extract, CoQ10, Echinacea and folic acid. And here’s why they work…
Grape seed extract: You may already know that it’s a powerful antioxidant with 20 to 50 times the potency of vitamins C and E. This is most likely why grape seed extract is able to keep bacteria from colonizing — and that is huge for dental health, especially periodontal disease. Plaque is now considered to be a type of bacterial biofilm, which explains its connection to body-wide disease. Biofilms (read more here) prove especially hard to break down even with antibiotics, so preventing them in the first place is the best strategy.
CoQ10: This nutrient is essential for cellular energy and immune system function. The stronger your immune system, the better you can fight off any infection. Your body’s stores wane as you age — and if you take statins, beware: they will deplete you even more. My colleague Jedha Dening will tell you cholesterol drugs are a prescription for disease.
Related: 2 major reasons you need CoQ10
Echinacea: Clinical trials have shown that Echinacea is as effective as the prescription flu medication Tamiflu, but with fewer side effects. It’s effective in your mouth because it inhibits enzymes that break down tissue, which probably keeps bacteria from gaining a stronghold.
Folic acid: We all know how important folic acid is when we’re pregnant, but it’s important as a senior too. Research has shown that folic acid deficiency is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. But it also ensures the healthy development of your gums. It can prevent periodontal disease and help speed healing during treatment. It’s also good insurance against a re-occurrence.
Aging well is about more than crow’s feet. Aging is systemic. There’s nothing vain about wanting the best health possible as you age. With the science behind these nutrients, it’s just foolish not to take advantage of what they can do for you now… and for years to come.
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- Women with gum disease may need to watch out for cancer — Medical News Today
- 4 supplements that dental professionals need to discuss with periodontal patients — Dentistry iQ