Health

Oral health facts for men

Sunday, June 17, 2018

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TOUGH guys, listen up: If you're the man of the house, you probably think that dental health is the last thing on your priority list.

Today's dads are busy with their careers and children. However, if you want to be healthy for your family you must take care of your teeth.

Both men and women responding to a national survey last year said a nice smile was a person's most attractive feature — more so than the eyes, hair and body. But the survey also showed that men might be putting their best asset at risk, because they are less likely to take care of their dental health.

Most (86 per cent) women respondents said they brush their teeth twice a day, compared to only 66 per cent of men who said they do. Men also changed their toothbrush less frequently.

Oral health facts for men

1. Missing dental visits

Men are less likely to visit a dentist than women. Rather than seeking preventative dentistry, they often visit a dentist only when they have a problem that needs prompt treatment.

2. Insufficient brushing

Researchers have found that roughly eight per cent more women brush their teeth twice a day than men. Adult males are also less likely than women to brush their teeth after every meal; this amounts to 20.5 per cent of men compared to 28.7 per cent of women.

3. More gum problems

It was also found that 34 per cent of men from 30 to 54 years old suffer from gum or periodontal disease, relative to 23 per cent of women within the same age range. Between the ages of 55 and 90 years, 56 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women suffered from gum disease.

4. Higher risk of dry mouth

It is suggested that the quality of men's dental health may be associated with heart disease and high blood pressure medications that cause dry mouth. Because saliva has a protective effect against bacteria, the chances of dental problems increase when it's low.

5. More advanced conditions

Researchers found that adult women have less severe periodontal disease than men of every age. In addition, white and African American women both have a lower incidence of pharyngeal cancer than men of the same backgrounds.

6. More dental replacements

Research showed elderly men to have fewer teeth than women by a certain age. As a result, they more frequently wore dentures.

7. Higher use of carcinogens

Twice as many men as women develop oral cancer, often from smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol. Each of these are carcinogenic in nature, meaning they can put you at high risk for cancer.

8. Higher risk of HPV

Poor oral health is also a risk factor for oral human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. A study found more men than women suffer from the oral manifestation of this virus, which can lead to oral cancer. Four times as many men as women suffer from oral cancer associated with HPV.

Men don't naturally come to the table with a good hand regarding certain oral health facts, but there is plenty they can do to reduce their risk of dental problems. Brushing twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily after a particularly rich meal, can maintain healthy teeth and gums.

A dentist can advise on how to help prevent dry mouth, and men can alter some of the behaviours that may lead to oral cancer.

Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa for an opportunity to take advantage of weekly specials.

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