Men should start ditching their devil-may-care attitude when it comes to oral health, dental experts say. This is because having good teeth and gums is not merely a cosmetic concern, but it can also impact your overall health and quality of life.
If you’re a man, chances are you’re less likely concerned about practicing strict dental hygiene compared to most women. It’s highly probable that you would rather tackle some dirty job – say, taking out the garbage – instead of finally committing to an appointment with your friendly New York dentist.
And these are not simply generalizations, as several studies back this observation about men and their perspective and behavior toward dental care. Research published in the Journal of Periodontology says women, compared to men, are two times more likely to make an appointment with the dentist, undergo regular dental checkups, and sign up for the treatments recommended by the dentist during those appointments. Women also boast of characteristics indicating good periodontal health – there is a lower incidence of dental plaque and they’re less likely to experience bleeding on probing.
Aside from avoiding visits to the dentist’s office, men are also notorious for exhibiting bad dental care routines at home. A study by the American Dental Association reveals only 20.5 percent of men brush their teeth after every meal and only 49 percent (compared to 56.8 percent for women) brush their teeth at least twice a day.
Years of neglect of your teeth and gums can take a toll on them, and in fact the study also showed that 34 percent of men aged 30 to 54 can suffer from gum diseases compared to 23 percent of women. Once they reach 55 to 90 years, 56 percent or more than half of the male population will most likely have developed periodontal disease.
Meanwhile, lifestyle requirements and choices commonly associated with men can also affect their teeth and gum health. Medications for depression and hypertension, both of which have a high incidence in men, can cause dry mouth or a decrease in saliva production, which can lead to teeth and gum disease. Smoking and chewing tobacco increases the risk for not just gum diseases but also oral cancer. Drinking sugary sports drinks, too much caffeine and alcohol can weaken your teeth and lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Even playing sports and engaging in active play can be a cause of dental health concern; contact sports such as basketball and football and riding motorcycles and bikes can put you at a greater risk of suffering from physical trauma in the mouth, which can cause serious damage to the teeth and gums.
A vigilant oral health care regimen provides a host of benefits, from your physical appearance to your career and relationship prospects. So man up and schedule a visit with your trusted dentist today.