Calling All Men: Connect Your Lifestyle and Your Oral Health
Did you know that men are far more likely than women to neglect their oral health – in some cases, for years? Lots of men don’t brush and floss on a regular basis and avoid dental visits for cleanings and exams. Some of the healthiest and fittest guys are guilty.
Why does it matter?
Your oral health is more important than you might realize! The fact is that the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums can affect the rest of your body. Your oral health can offer clues about your overall health. In some cases, problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.
For example…periodontitis (gum disease). The human body is home to a huge population of bacteria. Your mouth is no exception. Without proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing), bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Though it seems minor at the start, it can significantly affect your health. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other, sometimes severe, health problems such as cardiovascular disease, digestive problems and tooth pain. Men are more likely than women to develop periodontitis, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. More than half of men over the age of 55 are affected.
What should men do?
No time for the dentist? Practicing good oral hygiene is an investment in your overall health. No one wants to suffer the pain and discomfort related to tooth decay and gum disease or the embarrassment of an unattractive smile. One of the distinguishable characteristics of poor oral hygiene is bad breath. What man wants to be known for his HALITOSIS? Believe it or not, most of these problems can be prevented. Start at home and follow these good oral hygiene rules:
- Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are frayed at the sides/ends.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat a diet for healthy teeth to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
Schedule regular dental checkups. It’s the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease and other issues. Follow the treatment plan recommended. It will be time well invested.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Note: Each November I grow a mustache to support the Movember Foundation. This global charity is committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising $650 million and funding over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. Contact me to learn the facts about your lifestyle and your oral health. I want to help men take the steps to achieve healthier, happier, and longer lives.