Men Have Room For Improvement When It Comes To Caring For Their Smile!

Posted on Feb 20, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Guys – when it comes to the battle of the sexes, you’re losing when it comes to your smile!

According to a survey by the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), only 66 percent of males brush their teeth twice or more a day compared with 86 percent of females who do so.

The study of over 800 participants included completion of a written questionnaire on dental knowledge and oral health habits. The study, shared by the Journal of Periodontology, also included an oral exam of each participant to detect signs of periodontal disease. (

Things don’t get much better when it comes to flossing, but that pertains to both sexes. Only 49 percent in the survey stated they floss on a daily basis. Even worse,1 out of 3 assumed that seeing blood in the sink when brushing is normal and were unaware it is a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

The study also showed women as twice as likely to see their dentist for regular dental check-ups and more likely to follow through with recommended dental treatment. As a result, it was no surprise that the study revealed women had better levels of gum health with less dental plaque, calculus, and bleeding.

Men – remember that gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. If the thoughts of enduring tooth extractions and replacement decisions don’t motivate you to brush and floss more, try this image. Oral bacteria are living, breathing and eating creatures that live in our mouths. Like any living thing, what is eaten is then released through defecation. Yes, these organisms do this in your mouth! If you’ve ever wondered about bad breath, keep this vision in mind and, if nothing else, that alone should motivate you to brush more often!

Also, be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, which is an over-accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. Initial symptoms are tender or swollen gums, seeing blood in the sink when brushing, and frequent bad breath. However, keep in mind that some signs don’t emerge until gum disease is running rampant.

As the disease worsens, you may experience persistent bad breath, gums that turn red in color (versus a healthy pink) and pus-filled pockets that form at the base of teeth. Untreated, you’ll eventually experience gums that pull away from teeth and teeth that loosen and may require removal.

It takes mere minutes each day to avoid this disease. And it’s easy and inexpensive. Use a soft to medium toothbrush and brush for two minutes twice daily. Brush in a swirling motion rather than scrub back and forth, which wears down tender gum tissues. After brushing teeth, brush your tongue to remove hoards of oral bacteria embedded in the tongue. Swish and spit several times.

You should also floss daily to remove food particles caught between teeth that a toothbrush can’t dislodge. If you find flossing too awkward or uncomfortable, purchase a water flosser. These are easy to use and equally as effective.

Last but not least, see your general dentist twice a year. These appointments remove calculus (also referred to as tartar), which are hardened forms of oral bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel and gum tissues.

It is important to have a healthy mouth, which research has shown also supports a healthy body. It has been found that the toxic bacteria of gum disease can trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. A growing number of health problems have been linked to gum disease, including some cancers, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, preterm babies, erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotency.

If you are behind on dental visits or are experiencing any of the signs of gum disease, call 828-274-9440 to schedule an appointment. I’ll discuss ways to restore your mouth to a healthy state and easy ways to help you maintain good oral health between visits. We will also be happy to discuss comfort options and financial plans, if desired.

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