The teeth of men and women are identical in makeup and appearance. A study gave experts a bunch of teeth, and they correctly picked the sex of the owner 50 percent of the time—the same as if they were guessing.
Men and women not only have identical teeth, they have a comparable amount of oral health issues. The big difference is that women’s issues are usually caused by hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy. Men’s oral health problems are almost all self-inflicted.
- Men are less likely to schedule preventative dentistry, only seeing a dentist when tooth pain become unbearable, while women are more proactive.
- Men are less likely to brush than women. Only 49 percent of men brush twice a day, while 57 percent of women do.
- Men are more likely to get periodontal disease than women. The things that cause periodontal disease—dry mouth from medications, smoking, poor diet, alcohol consumption, lack of oral hygiene—are more prevalent in men.
- Men are twice as likely to get oral cancers from poor lifestyle choices, like the use of tobacco and alcohol, poor diet, overexposure to the sun, and poor oral hygiene.
- Men are more likely than women to get the oral manifestation of the HPV virus, which can lead to oral cancer. Four times as many men as women suffer from oral cancer associated with HPV.
Poor oral hygiene and the onset of gum disease can also bring about the collateral risk of heart disease, as inflammation and bacteria from gingivitis and periodontal disease spread to other parts of the body.
Men can lead longer and healthier lives by being more proactive about their oral health. Dr. Lisa Simon, from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, says the following minor changes in routine can result in major benefits:
- Brush for at least two minutes twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride
- Replace your toothbrush every three months
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and trapped food that can increase bacteria
According to Dr. Simon, “The condition of your teeth and gums can often show warning signs of serious issues, from potential tooth loss to possible cardiovascular disease and cancer.” She suggests the best thing men can do to protect and improve their overall health is to schedule a dental exam every six months.
An appointment with Dr. Brei or Dr. Schneider will not only include X-rays and a cleaning, but they’ll also provide oral cancer screening and check for early signs of periodontal disease. Dr. Brei and Dr. Schneider can identify, diagnose, and treat potential problems before they become severe.
To help ensure years of disease-free living for yourself or a loved one, make an appointment with Dr. Brei today!