Oral health challenges unique to men

Men are more likely than women to suffer from gum disease, dental trauma, oral cancers, and other dental issues. Why are they at higher risk for some oral health problems? There are a few different reasons, and some are more preventable than others.

Men are more likely to have poor oral health habits.

In general, men brush and floss less than women. This allows bacteria and plaque to build up in the mouth, eventually leading to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Men skip their scheduled dental cleanings more often.

Instead, they tend to visit the dentist after a problem has worsened — making treatment more difficult and expensive! It’s important to go to your routine preventive checkups to receive a cleaning and an oral health exam, which helps your dentist diagnose and treat problems early.

Men are more likely to drink alcohol and use tobacco.

Alcohol and tobacco use increase your risk for many oral and overall health problems: gum disease, tooth decay, several types of cancer, heart disease, weight gain and obesity, and more.

Men spend more time in the sun.

Extra exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays creates a higher risk for oral and skin cancers. Time in the sun can also create symptoms of dehydration, like dry mouth and bad breath.

Men lose testosterone as they age.

As men age, naturally lower testosterone levels can contribute to tooth loss and gum recession. It may also play a part in the development of chronic gum disease, but more research is needed to understand if there is a link.

Men sustain more oral injuries from games and sports.

Men are less likely to wear mouth guards and are more likely to suffer injury in contact sports such as football, basketball, hockey, soccer, or wrestling.

How to protect your teeth and gums

For many men, better oral health may be as simple as changing a few habits and practicing good preventive care.

When you’re caring for your smile, the best offense is a good defense:

Brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once

  • Reach the entire surface of each tooth and brush at a 45-degree angle near the gumline

Prioritize your routine, preventive dentist appointments

Follow recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption and avoid all tobacco

Wear a mouth guard and other safety gear when you play sports

If you have low testosterone, be sure to tell your dentist

If you struggle with your oral health or experience any new problems, always reach out to your dentist. They can help diagnose and treat the issue so you can smile easier.

Men: Take care of your oral health!

Men do have a higher risk of oral health problems, but much of this risk can be reduced or avoided. Daily care and a few simple lifestyle changes can help you maintain your smile and overall wellness.

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