The Importance of Men’s Oral Health
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This week (June 15-21) is the observance of Men’s Health Week 2020. And it’s important to include oral health when talking about overall health. Men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and more likely to neglect their oral health, according to surveys and studies from the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association. At Prescott Dentistry, we provide dental care for patients of all ages and genders, so it’s important to look at the different dental concerns for each group. In today’s post we’ll look at specific issues pertaining to men’s oral health.
Men and Dental Care
- Men are less likely to visit a dentist than women. (61% of men as compared to 67% of women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Men are more likely to develop periodontal disease. (56.4% as compared to 38.4 percent in women, according to The American Academy of Periodontology)
- Men are less likely to brush their teeth after every meal. (20.5% compared with 28.7% for women)
- Men are less likely to brush their teeth twice a day. (49% compared with 56.8% for women)
- Men are more likely to have untreated dental decay than women. (29% compared with 25% for women, aged 35-44)
- The average man will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72. (Smoking increases the average tooth loss to 12 teeth by age 72)
- Men are more likely to develop oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. (About twice as likely as women are to develop these cancers)
Risk Factors for Men
- Medications. Men are more likely to have heart attacks than women are—this means they also are more likely to be on heart or blood pressure medications. Many of these medications cause dry mouth, increasing the risk for cavities. Saliva contains important bacteria-fighting elements, so as saliva production decreases, its ability to fight off infections in the mouth diminishes.
- Smoking. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you have a greater risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected by oral cancer twice as often as women. Ninety-five percent of oral cancers occur in men over 40 years of age. If you use tobacco, it is important to see us frequently for cleanings and to ensure your mouth remains healthy. We can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer.
- Sports. Of course, women play sports as well, but men are more likely to avoid taking safety precautions and often engage in rougher play than women do. If you play contact sports, there is a greater risk of trauma to the mouth. When playing sports like football, soccer, hockey, basketball or baseball, it is important to use a mouthguard—we can fit you with a custom one.
Although it’s important for everyone to take care of their teeth, it is more important for men to be extra diligent and proactive. Take time to focus on your oral health—not only can poor oral hygiene lead to gum disease and tooth decay/loss, it also affects your overall health. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two to three minutes at least twice daily, flossing daily and visiting the dentist twice a year can go a long way in maintaining your oral and overall wellness.
Give us a Call
If you are looking for a dentist in Prescott, our dentists have the experience and expertise you need for maintaining optimal oral health. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how you can be proactive when it comes to men’s oral health. Call our team at Prescott Dentistry to schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate practitioners—you are much more than a statistic to us!