Floss to increase your life expectancy

Weird but true: flossing your teeth daily increases your life expectancy. Find out why and add years to your life.

Flossing your teeth increases life expectancy, but experts are still arguing over how many extra years it can provide. Leading gerontologist (ageing doctor) Dr Tom Perls, author of the online Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator, says it will give you an extra one-and-a-half years. Equally prominent gerontologist Dr Roizen, author of YOU: Staying young, says you can add an extra six years by flossing twice a day. The most commonly cited number seems to be two years, which isn’t a bad return for simply improving your oral health.

So how does flossing have such dramatic health benefits? Flossing prevents your gums from becoming inflamed. When your gums are inflamed or bleeding you are actually suffering from a chronic bacterial infection in your mouth. This causes two problems. The first is that the bacteria find their way into your arteries, causing plaque build-up. The second is that your body’s immune system is constantly fighting the low-level infection, which can eventually cause inflammation and your arteries to narrow. Both of these problems can lead to heart disease. Who knew oral health could affect your heart?

Do you floss daily? Would you start to increase your life expectancy?