I recently read Victor’s review of  Escape from Hunger, and the item which intrigues me the most is the increase in life span in the last 100 years. I believe, unfortunately anecdotally, that improved dental care plays a huge role in this improvement.Why do I assert this? I am a practicing veterinarian who has observed an increase in lifespan of dogs and cats since 1988-89. At that time veterinary medicine became aware of the role of dental health in pets (and the ability to make money there from.) Before that time, the average lifespan of older dogs seemed to have been 12-13 years. We now expect the same pets to live 14-15 years.

The underlying medical reason is fairly simple. Infected teeth are a source of bacteria which get filtered in the kidney, heart, lungs and liver causing those essential organs to fail. Better dental care delays problems in those organs and thus adds to lifespan and overall good health.

Of course, other causes must be studied also. Not the least important is the fact of young age spaying and neutering (which I strongly suspect is not a cause of increased human life span!)

Perhaps someone in an academic setting could document the statistics to substantiate this assertion.


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