22 Oct Men’s Dental Health: Why Is It Important?
As many studies indicate, men take way less care of their physical and oral health. As a matter of fact, according to the research by the Dental Health Foundation, one third of men admit to not brushing their teeth every day. What’s more, men are also less likely to seek the dental preventive care, and often neglect their dental health for years, or even decades. But, in spite of this, many of you are probably wondering why is dental health so important to men?
Last year, the CDC released a report about the high prevalence of cavities among American adults. The report revealed that more than 90% of US adults over 20 have had cavities at some point in their lives, but what’s worrying is the fact that almost 30% of them never got treated in their life. In addition to regular visits to the dentist’s office, you should also try to take better care of your teeth on a daily basis, which means brushing regularly twice a day and flossing properly after every meal.
Most Common Causes of Poor Dental Health
Chewing and Smoking Tobacco
No matter if you chew or smoke tobacco, you are increasing the risk of various gum diseases, which can lead to the loss of teeth. The Academy of General Dentistry reports that even the average man who brushes his teeth twice a day will still lose more than 5 teeth by the age of 72. But if this person smokes, he will lose 12 teeth by the time he reaches the same age.
Men are more likely to suffer from heart disease, so they are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth, which leads to a greater risk of cavities, because saliva increases the amount of cavity-causing bacteria. Furthermore, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association, even over-the-counter medications could lead to bleeding gums, enlarged gum tissues and some medication may permanently affect your ability to taste.
Actively Playing Sports
If you play any sports, you naturally have a greater potential for mouth and tooth trauma. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reveals that sports are accountable for nearly 40% of all dental injuries in children. But even as you grow older, playing contact sports such as basketball, football and soccer can have a huge impact on your dental health. That is why it is important to use a mouthguard to protect your teeth from trauma.
Visit the Dentist: What Your Mouth Can Reveal
While you might not notice it, dry mouth can signal a hidden case of diabetes. Most people don’t even know something is wrong until their saliva production decreases by half, but the dentist’s trained eye can spot the problem much, much sooner.
If you brush your teeth regularly, and still experience swollen and bleeding gums, there is a chance that you are suffering from a cardiovascular disease. Luckily, recent studies have shown that deep dental cleanings can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular illnesses.
Most oral cancers reveal themselves in the form of slight discolorations of your tissue found in the back of your throat. If your dentist notices redder or whiter tissue, he will probably ask you to come back in a week or so, and if the signs are still there, you should get a biopsy.
No Money – No Excuse
Most people who rarely visit the dentist often cite cost as their number one reason for neglecting their teeth. However, three years ago, the Ada launched the Action for Dental Health movement in response to the need to improve people’s oral health nationwide. The movement now provides care for people who already suffer from dental diseases by referring them to free community health centers and private dental clinics.
Root canals and extractions cost a fortune. What’s the best way to keep dental costs low? Don’t let your mouth get to the stage of requiring expensive dental work. Brushing and flossing regularly and in conjunction with visiting the dentist at least every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning is the number one way to prevent costly operations in the future. Although crowns and fillings aren’t exactly cheap, a couple hundred dollars worth of work early is easier to swallow than thousands later on down the line when oral health gets out of control.
Simply put, avoiding the dentist and not investing in good oral health is almost certainly more costly down the line. If money is important, neglecting your dental health could put a huge hole in your pocket.
Why Do Men Neglect Their Teeth?
Basically, women simply have a better understanding of what dental health enlists, therefore they have a more positive attitude towards visiting the dentist. Furthermore, women seem to be more self-aware than most men. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Periodontology, almost 75% of women would feel embarrassed by a missing tooth, compared to 57% of men. But try to take more care of yourself, because if you don’t, by the time you notice a problem, it could be too late. And as you can see, you could not only lose a couple of teeth – your overall health may be affected as well.
Guest post by Peter, a men’s grooming & fashion writer at The Beard Mag and The Urban Manual magazines from UK and AU. Beside writing he worked as a menswear stylist for many fashion events around UK & Europe. Follow Peter on Twitter for more men’s lifestyle tips.