Men & Oral Well-Being

Posted on Oct 26, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a male, I’ve accepted the fact that there are certain things men don’t do as well as women. Actually, there is probably a long list! And, while some things like being slack when it comes to vacuuming and making the bed can be chalked up to ‘guys being guys,’ I know that other things are far more important; one of these being taking care of our oral hygiene.

Studies have shown that men, in general, are not doing a very good job when it comes to taking care of their mouths. It seems that men are less regular when it comes to caring for their oral health, less likely to have regular check-ups and neglect their oral health more often. Men are also less likely to visit the dentist when a problem does occur and tend to go only to resolve pain.hunk

Males also brush their teeth less than twice a day, according to statistics. This leaves them means more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. On average, men will lose more than 5 teeth by the age of 72. Those who smoke will lose an average of 12 teeth by that age.

And, for men who wear a partial denture, they can expect higher levels of oral bacterial, which leads to greater challenges when it comes to preventing further tooth loss. This is because the material of a denture or partial that mimics the gums is porous. This provides a warm, dark and moist environment that is a perfect breeding ground for oral bacteria.

While many denture and partial wearers soak their appliance overnight, this merely delays the growth of oral bacteria, not halt it. The rapid reproduction of bacteria revs back up as soon as the appliance is back in a mouth that is already bacteria-laden.

For men with exposed tooth roots, this creates a higher risk for cavities. Aging, over-zealous brushing and a misaligned bite can cause gum tissue to pull away from teeth. Over time, the darker, more sensitive portions of the tooth are exposed. This area is actually  the root section of the tooth. While this detracts from the appearance of your smile, it also exposes a portion of the tooth that is more susceptible to bacteria. This can increase the risk for cavities.

Regardless of gender, adults who are on medications that have a drying effect on the mouth are more apt to have gum disease and cavities. Saliva removes oral bacteria and helps to reduce bacteria accumulation. When salivary flow is inadequate to keep the mouth well-rinsed, the risk for cavities increases. Dry mouth also increases your potential for bad breath.

Genetics on its own can leave both men and women more susceptible to the problems associated with oral bacteria. While all people have bacteria in their bodies, two kinds (referred to as SM and LB) are especially harmful to teeth. Those who have higher levels have a naturally greater risk for tooth decay.

It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine, whether male or female. At home, brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily, floss daily and be committed to your 6-month cleanings to avoid problems and catch those that arise early.

We want to help you avoid problems, which will save you time and money and help you avoid a life in dentures. Call (828) 274-9440 to schedule a consultation to begin.

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