Men Don’t Take Care of Their Teeth
Men are significantly less likely than women to visit the dentist for preventive care. Instead, men are more likely to only see the dentist for restorative dentistry when they have problems with their teeth. Sometimes they may not even see the dentist then, postponing care of a toothache until the situation becomes critical and root canal therapy is necessary. Even worse, men may be more likely to be hospitalized for systemic infection related to toothache.
But it’s not just in visiting the dentist that men are failing in their oral healthcare. They are also less likely to brush and to floss.
Only 21% of men brush their teeth after every meal, compared to 29% of women. Less than half of all men (49%) brush their teeth even twice a day, compared to 57% of women.
The Consequences of Not Caring for Your Teeth
Part of the problem is that men don’t realize the terrible consequences of not caring for their teeth. Because they don’t care for their teeth properly, men are more likely to experience gum disease than women. Men age 30-54 have a gum disease rate of 34% compared to 23% of women.
And the problem worsens as they get older. By age 55-90, the rate of gum disease among men is 56%, compared to 44% among women.
The consequences of increased gum disease are more lost teeth, and, ultimately, serious illness and death.
A comprehensive survey in the Journal of Aging Research (JAR) reveals the correlation between oral health behaviors and mortality. By age 80, men have an average of 19 teeth, while women have an average of 21. About 52% of men wear dentures at this age, compared to 44% of women. And by the end of the study, 90% of men died, compared to only 82% of women.
It is highly likely that failing to care for teeth is a significant contributor to the life expectancy disparity between men and women.
What Men Can Do to Improve Their Future Oral Health
It’s vital that young men not let their lost years lead to lost teeth, and, ultimately, a lost life. There are many things that they can do to help preserve their oral health.
First, start taking better care of your teeth at home. Brush at least twice daily, and floss every day. Men who never brush their teeth before bed were 36% more likely to die in the JAR study. Men who never flossed were 31% more likely to die in the JAR study.
But perhaps the most important thing you can do for your health is to make regular dental visits. Men who didn’t report seeing a dentist in the last year were 48% more likely to die than those who saw a dentist at least once in the prior 12 years.
We understand that your life is in flux, and that it can be hard to make the time to make a dental visit. We respect your time and will make your visit as timely and efficient as possible. We can help prevent future health problems and give you more time to enjoy the great life you are building.
If you are looking for a dentist in Nashville, please call (615) 383-6787 today for an appointment with Dr. White at the Center for Advanced Dentistry.