The Importance of Oral Hygiene for Men

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Despite the fact that studies have shown a correlation between good oral health and a long life, men still delay their oral hygiene. This isn’t much of a surprise considering the reports showing that men also delay their physical health care and regular physician visits. Men consistently report a lesser amount of healthcare visits per year than women, regardless of the repercussions.

Increased Risk Factors

Not only do men take a more lax view on their professional oral hygiene visits but they also carry more risk factors. Smoking is a huge risk factor for a whole slew of oral problems from bad breath to stained and loss of teeth and even oral cancer. According to the American Lung Association, in 18.3% of women smoked as opposed to 23.1% of men in a 2008 study.

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Smoking or chewing tobacco causes oral cancer. It's true many women smoke but more men use different forms of tobacco like chewing and snuff. Oral cancer can affect the tongue, the roof of the mouth or under the tongue, the soft tissue around the inside of the mouth and the gums.

Men also suffer from a higher rate of heart attacks than women and are more often on medications for such. The types of medicines cause dry mouth, which is a drastic restriction in the saliva production in your mouth. Saliva helps wash away many of the bacteria in the human mouth. Without adequate saliva production, the bacteria and tartar cause cavities at a faster pace.

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Sports also significantly raise the risk of oral health issues. While women certainly play a variety of sports, in the amateur realm women are far more careful than men. They wear their protective and safety gear more often and take less serious risks than men, according to a Swedish study published by the American Physical Therapy Association in 2012. Contact sports cause a great deal of trauma to the mouth and teeth.

Men are often the breadwinners of the family and under a lot of daily stress. Stress also affects the teeth because people tend to grind them together in stressful situations and even during sleep. Add this very common issue with the variety of other unhealthy habits and tendencies of males and you have a recipe for disaster.

All of these factors when put together can cause huge oral hygiene problems, many of which can be overcome by regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dental hygienist. When it comes to hygiene, the mouth is often left out but it's about time men took a look at their increased risk factors and started paying more attention to their oral health.

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