|How a Man's Oral Health Impacts His Life
Posted on 6/18/2019 by Crossroads Family Dentistry
|Recent studies suggest men ignore their oral health more so than women. Good oral health affects longevity, confidence, and overall health, yet men continue to ignore those necessary dental checkups. Not only are men less likely than women to schedule the recommended exams, but they’re also less likely to visit the dentist when there’s a problem. Statistics show that men, on average, lose 5.4 teeth by the age of 72. Smokers lose close to 12 teeth by that age. Oral cancer, throat cancer, and gingivitis, or periodontal disease, are also more commonly diagnosed in men than women.
Understanding Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth. The plaque hardens into a substance known as tartar. When the tartar isn’t removed from the teeth, produces acids that release bacteria that cause gum irritation and breakdown the fibers that hold the gums tightly against the teeth. Pockets then form, which fill with more bacteria. An increased risk of cardiovascular disease is connected to periodontal disease. Cardiovascular disease increases your risk of a stroke or heart attack. Signs of periodontal disease include:
● Bleeding Gums
● Red, swollen, tender gums
● Halitosis, or bad breath
● Loose teeth
● Teeth separating from the gums
Medications Affect Your Oral Health
Many people are unaware that medications may negatively impact their oral health. Be mindful of this when starting a new medication or if you experience changes after using medicines for an extended period. Drugs that cause dry mouths, such as antidepressants, blood pressure, and heart medications may block the salivary flow, which increases the risk for cavities. We need saliva to reduce the bacteria that causes cavities found in the mouth.
Tobacco Use & Oral Health
Tobacco users are also at an increased risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Since men are twice as likely to develop these two health conditions already, it’s even more important that men take extra precautions to protect their oral health. Most oral cancer occurs in men over 40 years old.
Oral cancer occurs most frequently on the tongue, soft palate tissues in the back of the tongue, on the lips, the floor of the mouth, and the gums. More than 8,000 people die from oral cancer every year and even more experience loss of function and pain due to oral cancer. See the dentist regularly if you use tobacco.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Brush your teeth twice daily and make sure that flossing between the teeth is included in your regimen. Use a soft-bristled or medium-bristle toothbrush that reaches the surfaces of the tooth, and remember, replace the toothbrush every three months or when the bristles are damaged or frayed. See the dentist twice per year and don’t make excuses for not getting the oral care that you need. It takes little effort to improve and maintain your good oral health. It’s worth your troubles!