It may come as no surprise that men are less consistent about taking care of their teeth: that’s why the oral health tips presented here are specifically geared towards helping men keep their mouths healthy. From your gums and heart disease to sports related tooth loss, we’re offering some insight into how best to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
Oral Health Tips for Men:
- Quit smoking – now. If not for your lungs, do it for your gums. Studies show that unhealthy gums and heart disease are linked, and smoking can harm your gums. It can also lead to mouth or throat cancer.
- Don’t ignore bleeding gums. Treatments are available to help you if you’re showing signs of gingivitis. But an over the counter rinse won’t help you if you’re suffering from periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. If you have the symptoms of gum disease, it’s time to see a dentist.
- Make time for an oral cancer screening. Though the symptoms of oral cancer are usually pretty obvious, you can still miss them. In some cases, you may exhibit no symptoms at all. Speak with a dentist about your risks. He or she may recommend a cancer screening.
- Wear a mouth guard. Men who play sports put their teeth in danger. By wearing a mouth guard, you can protect your pearly whites from cracks and fractures. You can also help keep them firmly rooted in your mouth, where they belong.
- Start flossing more. Flossing doesn’t just protect you from tooth decay: it also helps your gums. It may save you from needing bleeding gums treatments later.
- Learn to brush correctly. It’s possible to brush your teeth “incorrectly.” Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle, and use short strokes that clean your teeth AND brush over your gums. And don’t forget to brush your tongue; bacteria build up there, too.
Learn about the Links between Your Gums & Heart Disease
Being “heart smart” means you have to do a bit more than law off the salt, or switch to an all-bran breakfast diet. In spring of 2012, the American Heart Association announced that there is a connection between poor gums and heart disease. Symptoms of gum disease may include:
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Gums pulling away from your teeth
- Loosening teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
When you have gum disease, your mouth can become infected. The bacteria causing the infection can spread to your heart, causing a stroke or a heart attack. It’s why it’s so important, if you have bleeding gums, to seek treatment. You should also consider an oral cancer screening if your symptoms are severe.
These oral health tips could end up saving your life. The American Dental Association recommends that men who take heart medication be aware of symptoms such as dry mouth, too, since saliva can help reduce your chance of cavities by washing away bacteria. Dry mouth is a side effect of some heart medications, so it’s important to see a dentist regularly if you’re on a prescription.