The team at our dental office in The Woodlands encourages all of our patients to see us for a checkup twice a year. But research shows that the American male population doesn’t typically tend to follow that rule of thumb. So this month, in honor of Men’s Health Month, we want to help men understand why these bi-annual dental appointments are so important.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many men skip or totally forego the recommendation to see their dentist in The Woodlands every six months. Instead, they only schedule an appointment when they have a problem. However, keeping up with regular dental care can help them avoid these problems in the first place. Dental visits play an important part in prevention of larger, more serious issues before they have a chance to develop. Additionally, while these appointments are important for everyone, they’re particularly more important to men since they are at greater risk for:
Gum Disease. The American Dental Association estimates that 34% of men ages 30-54 have gum disease as compared to 23% of women in the same age range. Gum disease is a serious infection that can affect the rest of the body if not treated. Research has shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, certain cancers, and respiratory problems. In men, the concern goes even farther as recent studies also suggests a connection between gum disease and prostate health.
Oral Cancer. Men are two times more likely to get oral cancer than women. Some researchers suggest that this is because men tend to use tobacco and drink alcohol more often than woman, both of which are known risk factors of oral cancer. Oral cancer can be treated, often successfully, when caught early. This makes keeping those bi-annual dental appointments even more important. If oral cancer isn’t caught or treated in the early stages it can spread to other areas of the body and may even lead to death.
More Dental Care. Since men are less likely to see their dentist regularly it leaves them at risk for needing more advanced, complex treatment when things go wrong. What may have once been a small cavity that could have been treated in a matter of minutes may now require a root canal and crown. If the decay progresses further, the tooth may fall out and need to be replaced with a dental implant or bridge.
Men and women can benefit by seeing the dentist regularly to decrease the risk of these serious oral health problems. Preventive dental care goes a long way in protecting smiles and overall health. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, give our Woodlands dental office a call to schedule an appointment.