Reston Serenity Smiles wants all of their patients and the Reston dental community to be well-informed about the importance of dental healthcare. It’s well known that there is a direct link between dental/oral health and overall health. For example, those with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, even cancer. While there are myriad risk factors, one of them may be surprising: being male.
Compared to women, men are less likely to brush twice a day, less likely to floss – at all, and less likely to make regular visits to their Reston dentist. Combined, this leads to increased incidents of gum disease in men as compared to women. While this is troubling enough, research has yielded staggering statistics about men with periodontal disease:
- 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer
- 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer
- 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers
The lifestyles of some men – such as those who take mouth-drying medications, smoke or chew tobacco, and play contact sports – may further increase their risk of periodontal disease.
What to Look For
While both sexes are susceptible to periodontal disease, the statistics indicate that men need to pay even closer attention to their gums than their female counterparts. The following are all signs that you may already have it:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed during or after brushing
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with your Reston Dentist.
Risk Factor Awareness
If you engage in what the dental and oral health community would consider high-risk behaviors, there are facts that you should be aware of:
- Dry mouth, either naturally occurring or the result of medications, can contribute to gum disease. Saliva not only aids in digestion, but reduces bacteria and acids found in the mouth. If you suffer from a dry mouth, increase your water intake, chew sugarless gum, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and salty foods.
- We all know that smoking is bad for your overall health, but it puts you at greater risk for periodontal disease and oral cancers. If not diagnosed and treated, oral cancers can be disfiguring as a result of surgery and/or deadly. If you smoke, quit. If quitting is not something you can do now, make sure you visit your Reston dentist frequently for cleanings and to receive professional screening for oral cancers.
- Participating in sports is generally healthy, but men who play contact sports such as hockey, football, or MMA are at greater risk for mouth trauma. To protect your teeth, consider wearing a mouthguard or headgear.
Man, woman, couch potato, or fitness nut, everyone needs to be reminded of what the optimum dental health regimen should look like:
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day (but preferably after every meal).
- Floss daily to promote healthy gums.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months (or after you’ve been sick).
- Visit Reston Serenity Smiles at least twice a year to have a professional clean your teeth and evaluate your overall dental and oral health.