Men and women may be equal in many ways, but when it comes to good dental health, men are receiving considerably worse marks. A recent study determined that men may be at greater risk for certain health issues as a result of their oral health.
In fact, men have been found to have higher rates of gum disease, tooth loss and some oral infections. Some of these differences may be due to dental health habits, however, others may be due to medications taken in higher rates by men for conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Saliva helps protect against bacteria and therefore, the chances of dental problems increase when it’s low. The medications prescribed for heart disease and high blood pressure can cause dry mouth, reducing the flow of saliva.
In addition, poor oral health is a risk factor for oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which more men suffer from than women. Moreover, oral cancer that is due to oral HPV is four times more prevalent in men.
Another study has demonstrated that men with erectile dysfunction were 79 percent more likely to have chronic periodontal disease. There may be many health risks associated with periodontal disease including diabetes and heart disease among others, but ED is a risk unique to men from associated oral bacteria.
Some of the ways that men are putting themselves at greater risk for these dental and general health conditions may be as simple as missing dental visits, insufficient brushing and flossing, not wearing protective gear when participating in sports, and higher use of tobacco and alcohol.
A smaller percentage of men than women brush and floss regularly and a higher percentage of men are shown to have periodontal disease and tooth loss as they age. Additionally, frequently men schedule their dental visits only when they need immediate treatment rather than seeing their dentist regularly for preventive care. Yet, as they say, prevention is always the best medicine and when it comes to a man’s oral health, this may be especially true.
If would like more information about how men can reduce the risks associated with oral diseases and can benefit from preventative dental visits, Dr. Heidi Finkelstein and her caring staff at My Plantation Dentist can help. To schedule your appointment, please contact us today at 954-584-1030.