Oral & Vision Health Blog

4 Oral Health Issues Men Need to Be Aware Of

You exercise, eat right, and take care of your body – but what about your oral health? It’s said that men tend to take care of their teeth less than women do. So it is important for men to be aware of their oral health and the issues that can arise when they don’t care for their teeth. Here are 4 issues to be aware of and how you can prevent them.

Cavities

Tooth pain may be a sign that you have a cavity. However, it’s not the only sign. Other common signs to look out for are tooth sensitivity, jaw pain or an infection. The symptoms of a cavity include:

  • A toothache
  • Pain when eating or drinking
  • A hole or pit in your tooth you can see
  • A stain that is brown, black, or white
  • Pain when you bite down

Dry Mouth 

Dry mouth occurs when saliva production decreases making it difficult to swallow and speak. Other symptoms include frequent thirst, dry feeling on the tongue and in the throat, cracks and sores around the corners of the mouth and on your tongue, difficulty tasting foods, and bad breath also known as halitosis.

Ways to combat this oral health issue are:

  • Follow a low-sugar diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Consider medication
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Invest in mouthwash
  • Purchase a warm-air vaporizer to keep moisture in the air

Gum Disease

Did you know that 34 percent of men from ages 30 to 54 years old will suffer from gum or periodontal disease in their lifetime? Gum disease is when your gum tissue is swollen, bleeding and inflamed because of poor brushing habits and plaque buildup. This can result in tooth decay and gum tissue loss. If left untreated, it can lead to a more serious infection. Fortunately, there’s a cure for gum disease and it can be treated by going to the dentist office and taking proactive steps at home, like the following:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water after heavy snacks and meals as sugars and starches stick to your gums and hide in hard to reach places
  • Rinse with mouthwash or salt water to push out hidden food particles
  • Consider a water flosser to achieve that "after the dental office" clean feeling
  • Use a toothbrush that has the appropriate bristle texture so you don’t damage your gum lining
  • Replace your toothbrush to prevent the existence of germs going back into the mouth and throw away brushes with bent bristles as they erode tooth enamel

Oral Cancer

Oral cancers make up about three percent of all cancers in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health and Cancer.net, over 53,000 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year. Over 70% of those cases are men. Early diagnosis is critical with this disease and here are a few common signs of oral cancer:

  • A sore that doesn't heal
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tongue pain
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Difficult or painful chewing and swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling like something is caught in your throat

If you experience any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, consult your doctor and your dentist.

Not all men will experience every one of these oral health issues. But it’s important to remember that men can be at higher risk and that there are steps you can take to prevent them. Some of those ways include:

  • Seeing your dentist for regular dental cleanings and exams every 6 months
  • Brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables in addition to protein
  • Monitoring your sugar intake which includes soda’s and energy drinks
  • Avoid smoking

Taking care of your oral health is just as important as taking care of your body. Your oral health and overall health are directly linked – so make sure to get in the habit of making your oral health a priority. Being on top of your oral health means having all the tools you need for a healthy smile. Speaking of your oral health tools, do you have dental insurance? Take our quiz to find out which plan is right for you!

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