If you’ve had a chance to see the new Top Gun movie, the “top gun” crew is extremely well-defined; so much so that the latest issue of Men’s Health magazine shares a routine for the upper body muscle work that gave the crew such tone and definition.
Although men tend to be focused on body building and having a “cut” look, I’d like to remind our beloved male population that the crew’s smiles were probably on camera a lot more than their abs. Imagine the crew, so fit looking, having smiles that didn’t live up to their healthy appearance.
Men can definitely do a better job when it comes to their oral health. Women consistently demonstrate better oral hygiene habits than men, brushing and flossing more often. And, studies have shown that females exhibit more positive attitudes about dental care.
Approximately 20% of women as opposed to 15% of men delay dental care due to cost, yet, women still visit the dentist more often. The 2007 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey reported that men are about one-third less likely than women to seek preventive care services and almost 60% of men avoid care.
When men do see the dentist, the reason is often because of a problem that demands attention (such as pain from a cavity) and not for disease prevention. In addition, women are more likely to adhere to recommended treatment following a dental check-up.
Appearance aside, accumulated oral bacteria can lead to inflammation in the gum tissues. The early stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. In some cases, obvious symptoms aren’t present early on. When symptoms become more obvious, the individual typically notices gum redness and tenderness. The gums may swell and bleed when brushing. If unresolved, gingivitis will progress to periodontitis.
Gingivitis and periodontitis represent the most common types of gum disease. As inflammation of gum disease spreads, it damages the soft tissues and bone that support natural teeth. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammation that can loosen teeth by destroying gingival fibers, ligaments, and the bone surrounding teeth. It is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States.
The inflammatory reactions that begin in the mouth can extend far beyond, affecting overall health. Several systemic illnesses (such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease, and dementia) have been associated with gum disease. These diseases rank among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States.
Yet, all of these dire statistics and health risks can be avoided – through prevention. And, men can do a far better job than they’re doing. It begins at home.
Research by the American Dental Association found that nearly 8% more women brush their teeth twice a day than men and women are 26% more likely to floss daily. When you consider that good oral hygiene at home takes mere minutes a day and is very low in cost (toothpaste, toothbrush, floss), there is hardly a good reason to be slack in this area of daily upkeep.
Some easy tips are:
• Place your toothpaste and toothbrush by the faucet each evening so you’ll see them in the morning. Make evening brushing and flossing a habit, perhaps something you do right before getting into bed.
• If you find flossing awkward, there are several good water flossers on the market. Research has shown most of these do an equally good job as manual flossing. (View our easy flossing video at: FlossingMadeSimple
• After brushing your teeth, brush your tongue. You’ll uproot millions of embedded oral bacteria.
• Keep your mouth moist throughout the day. Drink lots of water and rinse your mouth after consuming alcohol and caffeine.
• If you snore, be especially conscious of taking good care of your oral health. Having a dry mouth all night provides a breeding ground for oral bacteria. (Consider a custom-designed sleep appliance to resolve heavy snoring and some levels of sleep apnea. Tap here to learn more.)
The goal is to keep oral bacteria levels to a minimum. However, even with the steps above, plaque can accumulate and harden. This hardened form of bacteria is known as tartar. Tartar can no longer be brushed or flossed away. It must be removed by a dental professional who uses special tools.
This is why your 6-month check-ups and cleanings are so important. Not only do hygienists clean and freshen your mouth, they can remove tartar buildup before these bacterial masses bore into tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Men – we love you and want you to have healthy smiles along with healthy bodies! We always accept new patients in our spacious Shelby Twp dental office. If preferred, you can begin with a free consultation to get to know us. And, I invite you to get to know me at: MeetDrBarbat
If fear or anxiety has prevented you from regular dental care, our dental office is known for its priority on comfort. In addition to a number of features, we offer oral and IV sedation (twilight sleep).
Over 60% of American adults have some level of dental fear or anxiety. In addition to a longstanding reputation for a gentle touch, I have over 25 years of experience helping many adults to achieve healthy, confident smiles without discomfort or feeling vulnerable.
If cost is keeping you from having that white, appealing smile, please ask about our payment options. We offer financial plans that require no down payment and are interest-free.
To schedule a consultation, tap here or call 586-739-2155.
Some information above from:
American Journal of Men’s Health