Men, did you know: when it comes to dental health, women have the upper hand. Research shows that women are more likely than men to enjoy healthier teeth and gums. Although there are varied reasons for this, it’s important to note that The Academy of General Dentistry reports that men are less likely to take care of their dental needs than women. So to help make sure you enjoy your best smile possible, here’s a quick look at what you need to know about men’s dental health issues.
- Less Likely to Seek Out Routine Dental Care
- Higher Risk for Periodontitis and Oral/Throat Cancer
- Dry Mouth from Medication
- Higher Risk for Dental Trauma
1. Men are less likely to seek out routine dental care than women.
When it comes to dental care, men are more likely than women to take the “no news is good news” approach. If nothing hurts, men are more inclined to assume that all is fine with their oral health.
Unfortunately, oral health problems often have no symptoms in their early, and more easily treatable, stages. Things like gingivitis and cavities typically don’t cause pain at the outset. Often, It’s not until the disease or decay has advanced that pain can begin to be felt.
Avoid unnecessary discomfort and cost by having routine cleanings and check-ups with your dentist every six months or as often as your dentist recommends. Catching dental issues early on will make them that much easier to correct. Remember: your teeth are just like your car–they need regular maintenance too!
2. Men are at a higher risk for periodontitis and oral and throat cancer.
Another dental health challenge for men is their increased risk for periodontitis and oral and throat cancer. Two of the biggest risk factors for these diseases are tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption, and men are more likely to drink and smoke than women.
Decrease your risk for these diseases by quitting tobacco and decreasing your alcohol consumption. For a little encouragement, you should know that after ten years, smokers can decrease their risk for oral cancer to that of nonsmokers!
For further reading: Oral Cancer Risk Factors
3. Heart medication can cause dry mouth.
Another issue for men to consider when caring for their mouths is that their heart medication, which is prescribed to more men than women, might be causing them to experience dry mouth.
Dry mouth is problematic for oral health because when the mouth does not produce enough saliva, it’s less efficient at washing away food debris and cavity-causing bacteria. If your medication causes dry mouth, consult your dentist for ways to alleviate your symptoms. Your dentist may prescribe or recommend a product to keep your mouth moisturized, such as a mouthwash designed for dry mouth. In addition, you can try drinking plenty of water, not using tobacco, sucking on sugar free candy or gum, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
4. Men are more likely to have dental trauma.
That weekend basketball league can take a lot out of you–including your teeth!
Adult males are also at a higher risk for dental trauma, sometimes caused by contact sports or falls. It’s especially important to protect your teeth from this kind of accident if you have braces or permanent bridge work.
Mouth guards absorb force, prevent broken teeth, and prevent injury to the tongue or lips. Consider being fitted for a mouthguard to keep your teeth safe from your favorite activities so you don’t need to make an emergency visit to our office!
Madison, Wisconsin Dentistry
If you’re looking to improve your oral health, please contact us today. Affiliated Dentists provides general, pediatric, and cosmetic dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin.
Men’s Dental Health Issues brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson