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Man at DentistDental health is important for everyone, but men can be prone to overlook or underestimate the significance that oral health plays in their overall health and well-being. In fact, men are less likely to seek preventative care than women, and some men avoid going to the dentist for several years. Unfortunately, men are more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease, and both oral and throat cancer are more common among men. Luckily, you can start improving your oral health today. It’s never too late to embrace good habits.

1. Periodontal Disease

Commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is the result of plaque. Over time, plaque hardens into something called tartar. Tartar is porous, and it’s prone to harboring bacteria. The bacteria in tartar releases acids, and those acids are known to irritate your gums. Although it takes a while for it to happen, the acids eventually damage the fibers that hold you gums to your teeth. As your gums loosen and the fibers are damaged further, pockets are formed.

These are sometimes known as periodontal pockets, and they only exacerbate the problem. These pockets can then play host to even more bacteria. As you’d suspect, the increased presence of bacteria and the acids that they produce hastens the development of periodontal disease and harms your gums even more. Research has shown that cardiovascular disease and gum disease are connected. This means that men with periodontal disease are more prone to cardiovascular disease. In short: your oral health and your heart health are linked.

2. Sports

It’s no secret that many men engage in sports, either competitively or as a hobby. Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard is essential if you want to protect your teeth. Mouthguards that aren’t fitted correctly provide less protection and can even irritate your gums. People that play sports are far more likely to experience harm to their mouth or teeth. You should take every precaution that you can.

Man at Dentist3. Medications

There are a number of medications that can cause dry mouth. You may know it as “cotton mouth.” Medications for certain heart conditions, blood pressure, and antidepressants are all know to produce dry mouth as a side effect. That lack of saliva can increase your risk of developing cavities. Saliva naturally impairs the development of cavities because it tends to hamper the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

4. Tobacco

Both smoking and chewing tobacco have been linked to an increased risk of gum disease and oral cancer. According to statistics, men are impacted twice as frequently as women. If you do use tobacco, it’s essential that you visit your dentist regularly. Frequent cleanings and checkups will undoubtedly be very beneficial. Your dentist can also perform a thorough screening for oral cancer. Catching oral cancer early is incredibly helpful for treatment, and it could even save your life. Be sure to stop by your family dental care clinic in Houston, TX. You should never take your oral health for granted.