Why Men Need to Improve Their Oral Hygiene
When it comes to oral hygiene, there’s a big difference between men and women. Women are more likely to get regular cleanings, more likely to change their toothbrush every three months, and more likely to brush twice daily. Here are some reasons why men should step up their oral hygiene game:
Gum disease: Men are more likely to develop gum disease than women. Daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash are key, but it’s also important to know the signs and symptoms of gum disease. If you have swollen, red, or tender gums, or if your gums bleed when you brush, make an appointment with your dentist. Gum disease can affect a man’s prostate, heart, and sexual health. It can also make men more susceptible to certain cancers such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers.
Dry mouth: Certain medications can cause dry mouth including medications men are more likely to take due to their increased risk (such as heart attacks). When you have persistent dry mouth, the lack of saliva can lead to an increase in cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. If you don’t take the proper steps to manage this side effect, dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and possibly tooth loss.
Oral cancer: Oral cancer is also more common in men than women, especially in older men with a history of tobacco use. A simple and painless oral cancer screening can be done in a few minutes at your next dental exam. Ask your dentist about oral cancer screenings, especially if you’re at a higher risk.