Want to Stay Looking Young – Visit Your Dentist
We spend an inordinate number of money on Plastic Surgery mostly in an attempt to fight the ravages of time as evidenced by the statistics on the cosmetic surgery site:
- 2.8 Million: Number of Botox injections given in the U.S. in ’03.
- 8.7 Million: People who had some cosmetic procedure in ’03.
- 10 million: The estimated number of cosmetic patients who will have gone under the knife by the end of ’04.
- 1.9 million: number of cosmetic surgery procedures done in ’01.
That’s a lot! But in a recent piece on NPR (As Our Skin Sags With Age, So Do Our Bones) – you can download the mp3 here. The piece makes the point that it’s not just loose skin that makes us look old but it is more to do with bone loss. In fact the original published article in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (abstract here) where they reviewed 3-D reconstructions of skulls of 120 men and women of varying ages they notes that
These results suggest that the bony elements of the mandible change significantly with age for both genders and that these changes, coupled with soft-tissue changes, lead to the appearance of the aged lower third of the face.
In other words bone loss makes a significant impact on the appearance of aging in our faces. They noted
cheekbones descend making the eyes appear hollow
jawbone becomes thinner and the chin recedes (slack-jawed)
In fact for David Hunt a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in Washington DC it was a “well duh”! As can be seen in the picture of the three skulls below – minimal loss on the left to dramatic loss of cheek and jaw int ie older skull the right
So what does this have to do with dentists? Well from the “guy who’s seen 30,000 skeletons:
…how to slow down that facial bone droop: Hang on to your teeth
Seems like dental and periodontal care is money well spent and probably a better investment in keeping youthful than the thousands of dollars spent on trying to repair the inevitable effects of aging.