Below are just a few of the things that you should know if you’re a man and you want to keep your mouth in tiptop shape, your smile bright, and your teeth strong as you age.
Compared to women, men are not as likely to see their dentist at least twice a year, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Instead, they are more likely to make an appointment only when they are experiencing symptoms of a problem.
As you probably guessed, failing to see the dentist for preventative care means that men are also more likely to need more expensive and invasive treatments because ailments will be more advanced when they’re diagnosed. We’re talking root canals, dental crowns, teeth that need to be extracted, dental bridges, implants, and dentures.
The American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry conducted research that determined another interesting fact about men, but this time it has to do with how well they take care of their mouths at home.
It turns out that more women will make it a point to brush their teeth twice daily, while men tend to be more lax when it comes to brushing on a schedule. And men are less likely to brush after each meal.
To put things in perspective, 28.7% of women will brush after each meal, and 56.8% of them will brush twice a day, while 20.5% of men will brush after meals and 49% will brush twice daily.
Poor oral hygiene habits, combined with the lack of dental appointments, could increase the risk of problems developing. So it really is no surprise that men are also more likely to exhibit decay that has been left untreated (29% of men compared to 25% of women between the ages of 35 and 44).
Here is another interesting stat from the Academy of General Dentistry: men are more prone to developing gum disease. More specifically, research has found that 34% of adult men between 30-54 years of age already have gum disease. That’s compared to 23% of women in that age group. And it gets worse as men get older, as 56% of men between 55-90 years of age have periodontal disease, compared to 44% of women.
A great way to help prevent gum disease is by having your mouth checked regularly, so making it a point to see the dentist at least twice a year is definitely a step in the right direction for men who tend to avoid those appointments.
In addition to gum disease, however, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer. Risk increases in individuals who smoke, chew tobacco and drink alcohol. And it is also worth noting that the risk of contracting oral HPV (human papillomavirus) increases with poor oral health, and the virus then increases the risk of oral cancer too. Catching cancer in its early stages will boost the odds of successful treatment, further proving the importance of preventative care.
Men are more likely to take medications related to cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, and they are also more prone to suffering from a heart attack. Unfortunately, the medications that are meant to protect your heart could inhibit the flow of saliva in the mouth, and that could boost the risk of developing cavities.
If you are taking medication, consider checking the side effects to see if they include dry mouth, and take the appropriate measures to undo the damage before it can wreak havoc on your teeth.
Completely avoiding costly dental visits isn’t always possible, but you could reduce the odds of needing expensive treatments by taking care of your mouth. Plus, you can save money and reap the benefits of dental cleanings with the right dental insurance plan.
For men, it’s important to ditch bad habits when it comes to oral hygiene and dental visits. Simply setting appointments with your dentist and taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day may help reduce your risk of a variety of problems, from gum disease to oral cancer. And, of course, eating right and leading a healthy lifestyle can also help aid in maintaining that sexy smile for all to love.