As adults, we are already well aware of the routines we are expected to maintain to have healthy mouths. Brush after eating, floss regularly and schedule regular checkups and dental cleanings. While most people perform this admirably, women are more active in maintaining their teeth and gums than men.
According to the Journal of Periodontology, women do a much better job at scheduling maintenance checkups, and, by a two to one margin, have seen their dentist in the past year. Women also have less plaque buildup and bleeding when their teeth are probed. High incidence of these may both be seen as signs of the early stages of periodontal disease. Finally, according to the study, women have a more positive attitude about visiting their dentist.
While this is by no means a complete picture of every single man because June 9-15 is National Men’s Health Week. Although it is still a few weeks away, this is a good time to remind patients of the steps to take to avoid periodontal disease.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
Some of the factors that will increase risks of periodontal disease include:
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Diseases such as diabetes
- Medications including steroids, cancer therapy drugs
- Misaligned teeth
- Defective fillings
- Bridges that no longer fit correctly
Two more factors that don’t affect men include oral contraceptives and pregnancy. However, men are less likely to brush and floss after every meal and are more likely to be at risk due to heart or blood pressure medication and anti-depressants. These medications cause dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities. Saliva washes away food particles that cavity causing bacteria love, as well as neutralizes acids formed by plaque.
Even if men avoid all of these things, they are genetically more predisposed to periodontal disease and even oral cancer, so it is important to remember to go to the dentist for check-ups and oral cancer screenings.
Reducing dry mouth, and therefore symptoms, include drinking more water, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages, don’t smoke, avoid salty foods, and chew sugarless gum and used an alcohol-free mouthwash.
Women can, and should, avoid these risks, and take the same precautions, but, again, men are more likely to forego care and more likely to suffer from problems with their oral health.
If you are looking for solutions for crooked teeth, contact the team at Jeanette Kern DDS today at 831-372-8011 at Dr. Kern’s office. Dr. Kern’s dental office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.