Studies have found that good oral health increases a person’s life, however poor oral health has been linked to a number of chronic health issues. Men and women alike should care for their dental health, however there are predispositions that create a need for more men to take a proactive approach to caring for their oral health. Studies suggest that men are less likely to visit a dentist unless a problem arises, this can mean that many people are overlooking their oral health for years without seeking preventive dental care.
Men are also found to lose more teeth than women in their lifetime, with 12 teeth by the age of 72 if he’s a smoker and 5.4 teeth if he’s not. Men between the ages of 34 to 54 were found 10% more likely than women to suffer from periodontal (gum) disease. It is never too late to change your habits and not become a statistic. Here are only some of the many reasons why men should take care of their oral health.
How Tobacco Icreases the Risk of Gum Disease and Oral Cancer
If you smoke or chew tobacco, you are at a greater risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected twice as often as women, and 95 percent of oral cancers occur in those over 40 years of age. The tongue, mouth floor, soft tissue in the back of the tongue, gums and lips are the most frequent oral cancer sites. It is important to treat and diagnose cancer at an early stage to prevent it from spreading, as well as prevent chronic pain, disfigurement and loss of function. We recommend you visit your dentist frequently to ensure your mouth remains healthy and get a cleaning and oral cancer screening.
Medications and Supplements can Cause Dry Mouth and Tooth Decay
Certain medications can cause mouth dryness and suppress salivary functions. Some of the most common medications that cause a dry mouth are heart, antidepressants and blood pressure medications. The decrease in the salivary flow increases the risk of dental cavities because saliva is important for washing away the food particles in your mouth, rebalancing pH and rinsing bacteria that causes cavities.
Gum Disease can Influence Heart Disease in Men
Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the United States. Around 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, and more than half of the deaths are in men. Studies have found a link between heart disease and gum health. Having gum disease increases the risks of a heart attack by 28%. We recommend you visit your dentist frequently to ensure your mouth is healthy and get recommended cleanings at least every 6 months to reduce buildup on the gumline and to screen for potential issues.
Dental Emergencies Caused by Sports
Participating in sports increases the potential experiencing a dental emergency such as a chipped or broken tooth, knocked out or dislodged tooth or bleeding mouth. We recommend that you wear a mouth guard, face cage, or a helmet when playing sports. A custom mouth guard helps best protect your teeth from injuries, Jefferson Dental dentists make custom affordable mouth guards.
Tips to Improve your Oral Health Every Day
Brush properly – Brush your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, since it can reduce the risk of tooth decay by as much as 40%. Position your toothbrush at a 45- degree angle where your gum and teeth meet and move the brush in a circular motion with short, gentle strokes. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth by tilting your toothbrush vertically and making circular strokes in the outer, inner and chewing surfaces.
Floss– Be sure to floss your teeth daily, to clean around and between teeth, and under the gums. It is important you floss properly and learn what types of different floss are available.
Take care of your toothbrush – It is important to regularly change out your toothbrush every 3 months, dispose of your toothbrush after being sick or if the bristles are bent. Store your toothbrush upright in a cup to allow bristles to dry. Storing a wet toothbrush in a closed container can foster bacterial growth.
Visit your dentist– It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, plus necessary exam and x rays to screen for decay and potential oral health issues. This is a time to talk about any pain, sensitivity or changes your notice.
It is highly important to adequately care for the teeth and gums, and establish a good oral hygiene regime. Good oral health can increase lifespan and decrease the risk of health complications. Start by following the tips to improve your oral health every day and talk to your dentist about additional ways you can improve your health.