Neglecting to brush your teeth can trigger dementia and heart disease, while also helping to make you look older, a new study has found.
The study shows that 89 per cent of people believe that bad teeth contribute towards somebody’s age, with 40 per cent admitting that they had never considered how their smile could be affecting their appearance.
Later this week, the BBC will air the first of a two part series examining Britain’s oral hygiene examining our attitudes toward taking care of our teeth.
The documentary also shows that those with chronic inflammation can lead to damage of the circulation system and vital organs, with research showing that bad gums can be linked to the development of illnesses including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Another 35 per cent of people said that a good smile was the first thing they noticed about someone, although many overlook the need to look after their teeth in later life.
While many believe that teeth become more brittle over time, research shows that instead, tiny flaws build up on our teeth which, along with erosion of enamels and gum recession, contribute to a build up of bacteria.
Mervyn Druian, a leading dentist, said: “When I examine a patient’s mouth I am looking for key factors that both indicate the overall health and assess the wear and tear, the aging, of the mouth.
“Gums that are red looking and inflamed of have pockets, greying teeth that may be showing signs of small cracks, decay or abrasion are all warning signs that your mouth may be aging faster than it should.”