Good teeth could be a longevity marker
BOSTON, USA: Maintaining good oral health may increase the odds of reaching age 100 and over. A recently published study has shown that centenarians and their children have better oral health compared with their respective birth cohorts. The researchers thus suggested that oral health may be a helpful marker for systemic health and healthy aging.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University, included 73 centenarians, 467 offspring, and 251 reference cohort subjects, namely children of parents born at the same time as the centenarians, but who died before reaching this age.
All participants answered a self-report questionnaire to determine differences in oral health. According to the study, only about 37 percent of centenarians were edentulous at age 65 to 74, compared with 46 percent of controls when they were the same age. In addition, the researchers found that more centenarian offspring had more than half of their natural teeth remaining and reported excellent or very good oral health more often than did offspring in the control group.
The research was carried out as part of the New England Centenarian Study, a large-scale study of people aged 105 and over and their family members, that aims to determine factors for exceptional longevity in humans.
The study, titled "An Oral Health Study of Centenarians and Children of Centenarians," was published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.