Why you should care about men’s dental health
When it comes to being proactive about oral health, men consistently fall behind women. For example, approximately 56 percent of men have periodontal disease compared to 38 percent of women. Part of this statistic may be due to individual lifestyle habits, but gender-specific differences may also play a role. Below are a few other facts about men’s dental health that might surprise you:
Men are less likely to brush their teeth regularly. Only 49 percent of men brush their teeth the recommended twice a day, compared to nearly 57 percent of women. Nearly 29 percent of women report brushing their teeth after every meal, compared to only 20.5 percent of men.
Men are more likely to skip regular checkups while women typically have a more positive outlook toward preventative dental care. In fact, only 74.6 percent of men say that they have a regular dentist while 89.2 percent of women have a dentist.
No Pain Does Not Equal No Problem
Many men only visit the dentist when they experience pain or other symptoms of an oral health problem. In reality, periodontal disease, a leading cause of tooth loss in adults, often does not present with symptoms until it is advanced and treatment becomes more complicated.
Men are more likely to engage in contact sports that can result in facial injuries and traumatic tooth loss. Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, it is important to wear mouth guards and other protective equipment when playing sports.
Men have twice the risk of developing oral cancers as women. The risk is even higher for men who smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Despite the risk, only about 10 percent of men have had an oral cancer screening within the past year.
Other Health Conditions
Men are more likely to be diagnosed and treated for high blood pressure and heart disease. The medications used to treat these conditions can inhibit saliva production and cause xerostomia, also known as dry mouth. Without adequate saliva to wash away food debris and fight bacteria, there is an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Periodontal disease does more than affect your smile. It is also believed to contribute to a variety of other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and even dementia. The symptoms of early-stage gum disease are often subtle and painless. If you notice any of the following, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
- chronic bad breath
- gums that bleed during brushing
- gums that are red, tender, or swollen
- teeth that are loose or separating
Schedule a Dental Checkup Today
There is no better time than the present to make better oral health a priority. If you have been putting off your dental checkup, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We offer a full range of preventative and restorative dental services to help you regain a healthy smile.