Men’s Health and Dental Care

Dental CareMen as a gender seem to be less diligent than women in keeping up with their dental care. Research and surveys reveal that:

  • Men are less likely to brush twice a day, as recommended by dental care professionals.
  • Men are more likely than women to have gum disease.
  • Men are less likely to visit the dentist regularly.

If this lack of commitment only impacted men’s teeth and gums, that would be bad enough. But there is another reason for men to attend to their dental care – there are a host of systemic health conditions that are influenced by how well a man cares for his teeth.

Conditions Related to Men’s Oral Health and Dental Care

  1. Heart disease. Treating gum conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis are important for men, because like heart disease, they are situations characterized by chronic inflammation within the body. Treating gum disease can lower a man’s risk for heart disease.
  2. Diabetes. A dentist may often be the first to recognize the signs of diabetes that can manifest in a man’s mouth, which include low saliva flow and bad breath. Diabetes negatively impacts wound healing and recovery after dental surgery.
  3. Impotence/Prostate conditions. Periodontitis, the more severe form of gum disease, can damage blood vessels. This may be why men in their thirties with periodontitis are three times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Men with periodontitis and prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate, have higher levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) than men with only one of the conditions.
  4. Cancer. Research has found that men with a history of gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums. Specifically, men with periodontal disease may be 49 percent more likely than women to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers.

“Most men want to have attractive, healthy teeth and gums, but proper dental care can do more than that,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix. “It can give them better health throughout their body.”

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